The political tug-of-war over pandemic response and recovery has turned school-aged children and their parents into the rope.
Hardline Democrats continue to find excuses to shutter businesses and prevent schools from reopening in hopes it will hamstring the recovery and help Joe Biden win the November election. Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have pressed for the expedient reopening of in-person learning for the fall semester. With mangled fake news reports circulating, it’s difficult to know the facts from another CNN fiction. To date, these are things we know about opening schools.
1: States Want To Keep School Taxes, And Not Refund Residents
A mix of fake news and establishment media outlets have flipped the script to falsely claim the Trump Administration plans to withhold federal school dollars. Even a cursory glance at the left-wing propaganda headlines bears that out.
- No, Trump can’t unilaterally withhold funds from schools ~ Washington Post
- Trump Threatens to Cut Funding if Schools Do Not Fully Reopen ~ New York Times
- Trump’s threat to defund education adds pressure to schools ~ CNN
At issue is the fact the federal funds are allocated to municipalities to support school budgets. Resist and obstruct Democrats have refused to consider the best science available to date to restart in-school learning. Some state and local governments expect to stay virtual, keep the money allotted for open school expenses, and throw parents under the bus in terms of childcare when they must work to support the family. Led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the White House is considering giving that money directly to parents.
“If schools aren’t going to reopen, we’re not suggesting pulling funding from education but instead allowing families … (to) take that money and figure out where their kids can get educated if their schools are going to refuse to open,” DeVos said.
2: White House Says Science Leans Toward Reopening Schools
Although fake news outlets such as the NY Times, Huffington Post, and others have twisted White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany into, “The Science won’t stand in our way,” of reopening schools. What she actually was explaining, and said, is that the science is on the side of reopening.
Citing impartial scientific sources, McEnany pointed to a JAMA Pediatrics study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America. The research indicates that critical COVID-19 illness for children is far less than from the seasonal flu. The limited study highlights the fact that children with significant underlying conditions were admitted to PICUs, and that the two children who died had advanced health conditions.
The BMJ journals recently published peer-reviewed research that challenges the assumption children will spread the virus, much like the seasonal flu.
“Some regions have implemented widespread community testing, such as South Korea and Iceland. Both countries found children were significantly underrepresented,” BMJ reportedly states. “In Iceland, this is true both in targeted testing of high-risk groups compared with adults (6.7% positive compared with 13.7%), and in (invited) population screening, there were no children under 10 found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared with 0.8% of the general population.”
3: How Individual States Plan to Proceed
Virtual learning research points to increased depression, suicide rates, child abuse, and other harmful effects of isolation. To date, states such as Alabama, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Vermont are expected to go back to in-person learning. States such as New Jersey, New Mexico, Hawaii, North Carolina, and South Carolina are considering a mixed solution. Many other states are leaving the decision to local school boards, who have a conflict of interest with regards to the use of taxpayer money.