Government schools and their unions are attempting to hold K-12 children hostage for billions more taxpayer dollars by claiming children shouldn’t fully go back to school this fall due to coronavirus. The state and local tax revenues that largely fund public schools are already going to take a massive hit from the forced economic shutdowns, but unions see this as an opportunity to get more of scarcer money for themselves, and thus the Democratic Party.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered all public schools to offer in-person instruction to all students this fall five days a week, allowing them to decide whether to deliver it online, in person, or in some combination. Other states and school districts are rotating children through schools, or phasing in in-person instruction a few grade levels at a time.
New York City just announced it will not offer full-time in-person instruction this fall. Children will be in school three or fewer days per week.
BREAKING: NYC schools will not fully reopen in September.
“Most schools will not be able to have all their kids in school at the same time” Mayor de Blasio said.
Under the proposal, most students will be in school no more than 3 days a week.
— Pervaiz Shallwani (@Pervaizistan) July 8, 2020
Phase One would allow special education programs and child care for working families to resume but remote learning would be the main method of instruction.
Phase Two allows preschool through third graders to return as well as English learners and extracurricular activities like clubs.
Phase Three would allow all students to return for in-person classes but with social distancing guidelines in place. A blend of in-person and remote learning may be put in place.
Washington state’s phase-in schools plan will discriminate against non-black students:
The Washington Office of the Superintendent of Schools says they will prioritize black students over white in getting them back into the classrooms.
How can this possibly be legal? pic.twitter.com/ueIMTfqNi5
— DaybreakInsider (@DaybreakInsider) July 8, 2020
“In a Microsoft survey of about 500 K-12 schools across the United States, 61 percent expect to start in a hybrid environment and 87 percent anticipate using more technology in the classroom than ever before, even when in-person learning fully returns,” reports The 74. In Boise, Idaho, “new school protocol will include isolated lunches, staggered schedules, and the possibility that the school district could return to remote learning at any point.”
Students in DC public schools, which spends $28,000 per student per year, might go to school as little as one day per week this fall. In Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools, which spends $16,000 per student per year and is the nation’s tenth-largest district, will allow families to choose either fully online schooling or two days per week of in-person instruction this fall.
All of these plans, of course, are subject to more whiplash when governors change their minds. If this spring is any indication, they will do so frequently, adding even more stress to lockdowns and government micromanagement of people’s homes and social lives.
“I’m just saddened that it doesn’t seem like there’s a push to get kids back in school,” Fairfax County mother Amber Condry told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham Tuesday. “Because there’s constantly these changes sent down by the governor where we have to abide by some new rule and then they’re going to have to change their whole game plan again. It just seems like, are we even going to open? And how long until our kids are able to learn?”
Condry has decided to homeschool her elementary-age children this year rather than be subject to a full year of schooling chaos like parents experienced this spring. She is not going to be the only one.
This situation is madness, and we all know it. American kids and families deserve far, far better than we are getting from public officials. Being constantly at some politically driven unelected bureaucrat’s mercy is psychologically and educationally devastating, besides unconstitutional.
American children have also already been set back between half to a full year academically, and they are likely to never fully recover. Only one in five kids got even halfway decent online instruction this spring. As parents know well, online learning is generally a freemium product that, if it is offered, should come at a significant discount to taxpayers, not demands for more money during an induced recession.
In addition, online “schooling,” even if better organized than during spring shutdowns, is known to be significantly less effective. It is especially not a good choice for children who need extra education to make up for the deficiencies imposed on them this spring. Taxpayers should not pay premium dollars for freemium results (or worse). Paying an average of $15,000 per year for every public schooled student is an absolutely ridiculous price for getting random worksheets, YouTube videos, chaos and confusion, and little personal attention.
All this also means we are right now devastating children’s future ability to provide for themselves and their families, and to pay off a tsunami of government debt Baby Boomers have racked up in their names.
Compounding the insanity, children are at the lowest risk of danger from coronavirus than any other group. Where adults’ concerns conflict with theirs, such as school employees who may be at a higher risk if they contract the disease, children’s needs should be prioritized over adults’.
Sidelining children’s needs for politics needs to stop. And it needs to stop now. President Trump should announce that he will pull federal funds from any public school and district that refuses to fully open this fall.
Americans spend more than any other country in the world on schooling. American public schools employ one non-teacher for every teacher, and they have increased payrolls many multiples that of enrollment in the past 70 years. We taxpayers deserve a positive return on all our spending on education, and we have been instead getting a negative one.
Taxpayer money is meant for specific purposes that serve the public good, not private desires and interests. It does not serve the public good to fund education systems that are not educating children.
The president has the legal authority to impound appropriated funds, according to the Congressional Research Service. Federal funds are largely designated for low-income and special-needs children, the ones most harmed by schools copping out on them.
Yanking funds for failing to fulfill their duties to the public and to children would still leave local officials in charge. They can do whatever they want, but if they don’t open in-person education five days a week, then they don’t need federal funding that exists to support in-person education.