What will the school year look like?
President Trump recently gave advice to schools pondering what their school year should look like, “Schools must open in the fall and resume in-person learning. I will cut federal aid if schools don’t open.”
He added, “countries like Germany, Denmark, and Norway reopened schools with no problems.”
He failed to mention that all three countries did lock downs, massive testing, contact tracing, and stock piled PPE – things the Trump administration DID NOT DO or certainly not what Governor Reynolds and Iowa did. Their schools have reopened. Should ours?
The President ties everything he says and does to getting re-elected. He sees schools, bars and meat-processing plants reopening as imperative to giving the impression that life is back to normal and it’s not. He doesn’t appear to care about the risk to the lives of the workers he forced back to work or to those who attended his maskless campaign rallies in Tulsa and Phoenix.
Communities throughout the U.S. are debating whether to reopen schools this fall. They have to consider the safety of the students, the faculty, and the staff; how they will structure the school day; how they will pay for the cleaning necessary to have students in the building; how they will follow the CDC guidelines dealing with staying home when appropriate, cloth face covering, hand hygiene, adequate sanitizing supplies, and social distancing.
In May House Democrats passed the HEROES Act which would provide $100 billion to help school districts pay for whatever plan they decide to implement. Of course, Republicans have left this bill sitting for two months, making it more difficult for communities to determine what is best for their community.
Since Trump didn’t consider the following, I hope school districts do:
• If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 14 days? Is their sick leave covered?
• If that teacher has five classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to quarantine for 14 days?
• Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests?
• Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?
• What if a student in your child’s class tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine?
What does the school year look like?