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Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, speaking in Washington, D.C., in February 2020. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on Thursday will call for a full reopening of U.S. schools in the next academic year, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Teachers' unions have been a primary barrier to reopening schools this academic year, and around half of public schools are not offering in-person learning five days per week because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The American Federation of Teachers is the second-largest teachers' union in the country, representing 1.7 million members in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

What they're saying: “There is no doubt: Schools must be open. In person. Five days a week," Weingarten will say, according to prepared remarked reviewed by the Times.

  • “The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in."

The big picture: Weingarten is expected to argue that the health risks can be managed through masking and handwashing, decreasing class sizes and hosting classes in spaces outside of school buildings, according to the Times.

  • She is also expected to commit $5 million for building confidence in returning to school.

Go deeper: Teachers union president Randi Weingarten on reopening schools

Go deeper

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."