In the latest covid relief bill that was just passed by congress — without any Republican support — $130 billion was earmarked to open schools safely with hopes of returning children to the classroom by early spring.
Leaders of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — which make large donations to the Democrat party — just received a nice payback for their support, especially with the recent decline in new COVID cases.
Here in the “red state” of Missouri this seems odd. Most schools in our state opened on schedule in late August — even in St. Louis.
The sport schedules have had to be adjusted in our three publications and some games canceled due to players testing positive for COVID-19, or others having to quarantine, but no school has had to close its doors.
For this we need to congratulate our administrators and teachers for the hard work they have done to give our children a quality education during the pandemic.
This has not been the case in many parts of the country. Research showed that only 44 percent of schools in the U.S. were offering in-person learning as of December.
Most of those areas are in blue states.
If you skipped the national news the last three months you would have missed the reports, almost weekly, of teacher unions refusing to agree to in-person learning in cities like Chicago (the nation’s third-largest school district), Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
As recently as two weeks ago the Los Angeles Teachers Union voted to reject a plan from the state of California to return to in-person learning. At the same time the union sent this notice to its members: “Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep that off of Social Media. It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel.”
President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain went so far as to defend teachers’ unions in Chicago, who refused to resume in-person teaching earlier this year. This despite the fact that thousands of schools across the U.S. are currently safely open.
Chicago public school students — kindergarten through fifth grade — who chose in-person learning were finally able to return to classrooms March 1. Sixth- through eighth grade students were able to get back in the classroom the next week.
Schools in Philadelphia started offering in-person education in the middle of March.
Two weeks ago Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered all public schools to return to their classrooms by next month.
Former President Donald Trump’s tweets, starting in May 2020, calling for schools to reopen ASAP were met with ridicule and anger from the left, seen as endangering the lives of children.
Other countries around the globe including Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden opened long ago without any issues.
In an opinion article published in February by a top liberal columnist for The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof put the blame where it belongs, on Democrats who kept children out of schools in their states while sometimes allowing bars and restaurants to reopen.
He described it as a “tragedy we haven’t adequately confronted.”
In his article Kristof references evidence from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the British Medical Journal and a Tulane University study that suggest that in-person schooling doesn’t pose any dangerous risks to students or teachers.
Of course the ones hurt most by Democrat policies keeping children out of school are the poor and minorities — the groups that Democrats claim to care for.
According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle school district data from fall 2020 showed that low-income students have fallen further behind than higher-income students due to the lack of in-person learning.
It is clear to see that instead of embracing the science, many Democrats are ignoring it. I thought Democrats were the party of science and that Republicans were the ones who rejected it.
Update from last week’s column: According to border patrol sources, on the Fox News website, Mexican drug cartels racked in as much as $14 million a day in February. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at $5 million a day, based on 2019 figures provided by Health and Human Services.