The New York Times editorial urges schools to reopen this fall, with the proviso that school systems need the federal government to open its checkbook to make it work.
In an editorial published Saturdaythe board advocated that children return to classrooms and said that they “need food and friendship; books and basketball plans; time away from the family and a safe place to spend it. “
The board said that to maximize personal instruction, “the federal government must open its checkbook,” citing an estimate by the School Superintendents Association that found the necessary safeguards would cost an average of about $ 1
The opening of schools has been a hotly debated topic in recent days as the corona virus is raging in the country and poses risks for groups that gather indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for schools on how to open safely again, though President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeSantis at Florida schools re-opens: ‘If you can do Walmart,’ then ‘we can absolutely do schools’ The NYT editorial calls for re-opening schools using the federal government’s “checkbook” Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone “remains a convicted criminal, and rightly” MORE pushed back the recommendations and called the guidelines “very tough and expensive.”
“President Trump could be an example by wearing a mask and by urging states to require masks. He could work to extend the tests. He could work to get money for schools,” the board wrote.
“Instead, Trump has sent tweets and demanded in ALL CAPS that schools reopen – threatening to cancel existing federal funding. “
The Trump administration this week took an aggressive stance on opening schools this fall and threatened to cut the schools’ federal funding if they fail to do so. However, public schools rely on local funds for most of their activities.
The Board found that moving learning online puts low-income students – who are already facing barriers to education – at a disadvantage because they are more likely to lack consistent access to technology at home.
“The boundaries of virtual classrooms were on painful display this spring,” the board wrote. “While some students thrived, or at least continued to learn, others faded away.”
Educational leaders, including those at the prominent American Federation of Teachers’ Associations, have urged Senate Republicans to approve additional federal funding to ensure that both teachers and students are safe from COVID-19 in schools.
The House passed the HEROES Act, another massive coronavirus stimulus proposal in May that includes some funding for public schools, but Senate Republicans have not yet considered further stimulus legislation.
The board also urged Trump to do what he can under his authority to push for additional school funding.
At the end of the op-ed, the board also pointed out that schools provide childcare for families, some of whom may be important workers, citing an estimate from the consulting firm McKinsey, which found that 27 million American workers need childcare assistance.
“Parents also need public schools,” they wrote. “They need help raising their children and they need to work.”