CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield says that K-12 schools are among the “safest places” from the pandemic kids can be and should remain open (CDC Director: Schools Among ‘Safest Places’ Kids Can Be, Closing Schools An ‘Emotional Response’ Not Backed By Data (dailywire.com)). Yet NYC just closed schools to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. NYC has the largest school system in the country and is sending over one million kids home to do distance learning at least until after Thanksgiving. Data prove that virtual learning, especially for low-income children, is a disaster.
As a result of the closing, families are expected to make sudden adjustments after being able to go back to work with their children in school. How do they suddenly find child care—or do they miss work and necessary income to stay home?
Does it make sense that bars and restaurants are allowed to operate while children may not learn in the classroom? Does business matter more than our children?
Thankfully, Dr. Walts, superintendent of Prince William County Schools (PWCS), is pressing forward with his calendar of school reentry for in-person learning. Last week pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students went back to class two days a week.
Next to re-enter the classroom will be elementary grades in December followed by middle school and ninth graders in January. High schoolers will start in-person learning in February. Thus far there has not been a surge in COVID-19 cases due to schools’ reopening in PWCS.
Fortunate for students and parents, most PWCS teachers do not belong to the teachers’ union. It’s the opinion of The Flip Side (Your Thursday Morning Report: NYC schools closing. On the bright side: Toad texts. November 19, 2020 at 6:01 AM) that the NYC schools are controlled by the teachers’ union. “Working class parents and their kids are up the creek without a paddle—again…” Quoting Allahpundit, Hot Air, “bars and restaurants are open and schools are shutting down. The damage to New York City kids will be incalculable, and likely permanent..”
Quoting Matt Welch, Reason: “Over the past month, the NYC school system has randomly tested more than 71,000 students and 42, 000 staff, from 3,000-plus schools. Only 189 came back positive…a rate of 0.18 percent…schools have not been vectors for spreading COVID-19.” Yet, the decision-making process is “cloaked in the exalted language of equity, inclusion, and combating privilege.” Is it ‘privilege’ to exclude poorer families from the opportunity to learn?
The Family Alliance urges the PWCS and the School Board to hold the line and continue the process of re-entry to the classroom. We must protect our children’s futures as well their present safety—and we believe statistics tell us schools are safe with CDC guidelines in place. Dr. Walts, Dr Lateef, keep moving forward! Thank you!
— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance