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National review

President Biden is keeping schools closed

Six months ago, when President Joe Biden was Joe Biden’s nominee, he spoke of “a crisis in the United States of America”. The crisis was the closure of schools. Millions of children stared at laptops instead of studying in a classroom. Biden said, “This is a national emergency. President Trump has no real plan to keep schools open safely. He offers nothing but failures and delusions. “Six months later there is a major education crisis and now President Biden is only making it worse. Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House’s new goal was “to open the majority of schools, more than 50 percent, by the 100th day of his presidency.” She defined it as “some classroom teaching, at least one day a week, hopefully more.” This is not just a promise; it wipes you out completely. According to Burbio, a school data aggregator, we are way behind Psaki’s spring milestone today and were before Biden took office. Over 60 percent of the school districts are already open with at least one “hybrid” model. “Hybrid” means two to three days per week of personal learning. One day a week was not originally part of this debate. It’s a new and lower standard – a team that Biden introduced. At first I thought the transgression was simply that they had pushed the subject into the background and, given the strange utterance, ignored it one day a week. But after 24 hours of backlash, Psaki was asked to clarify those comments and she doubled in, calling the plan “brave and ambitious”. And she stuck to the one-day standard, saying they hoped to beat it. Even this supposedly bold and ambitious plan was surpassed before the inauguration. Politico Playbook said, “It is a goal so humble and ambitious that it is almost meaningless.” President Biden’s ambitious school rhetoric would always have a collision course with the benefactors of his teachers’ union, who simply don’t want schools to be fully reopened anytime soon. Not even after teachers had vaccination priority and K-12 schools received over $ 68 billion in 2020 to help alleviate COVID problems. I just didn’t expect him to break a key campaign promise this early in his presidency. What’s stopping Biden from keeping his word? The White House would argue that it is funding, ventilation, and class size. Let’s look at each one one at a time. As mentioned earlier, in 2020, Congress allocated over $ 68 billion for COVID mitigation in K-12 schools. So far, most of the money has not been spent. That didn’t stop the Biden administration from asking for another $ 130 billion. But let’s ignore the billions of dollars currently unspent for a moment and ask the crucial question: will more funding help? In fact, the schools currently open five days a week in America are parochial schools, which generally fund less per student than their public counterparts, and public schools, which are not closed with the per-student wealth but good schools -funded counties like Chicago, Fairfax County, San Francisco, and others compete. The problem is will, not resources. Ventilation is simply a crutch to excuse not doing anything. It was an issue identified in early 2020 to mitigate return to school before a coronavirus vaccine was available. The approved US $ 68 billion Congress allocated funds specifically for ventilation. But most schools have done little or nothing to improve ventilation over the past year, and it is more likely that we will finally get back to school before any major changes are made to the thousands of schools that are still closed. The lack of new ventilation systems has not held back the majority of schools that have been open non-stop to some extent. Focusing the debate on the importance of class size is one way of masking the suggestion that children go to school indefinitely two days a week. The idea is that having a full class increases the risk, so we need to cut the class size in half. But nobody realistically believes America will double its school building capacity, at least not next year. Anyone whose child has attended class in a trailer behind a school building knows that it takes years to develop plans for new buildings, staff, and district boundaries. The two-day hybrid model, with its implicitly smaller class sizes, was designed to get children back into class before a vaccine was available. Incapable school authorities repeatedly delayed the end of this temporary measure. Now, having done it for so long, it is deceptively viewed as the post-vaccination ideal. It’s just crazy. After teachers were vaccinated in closed school districts, schools should be open all day five days a week, just as so many of their peers already do (and like some before vaccines were even available). After the teachers have been vaccinated, who are we making these huge infrastructure changes for? It is not for the teachers whose risk will thankfully soon be measured in decimal places. And it is not for children who, public health officials remind us often and repeatedly, are not significant spreaders or victims of this virus. In fact, the biggest health crises children face today – depression, suicide, lack of confidence, academic failure, lack of socialization, poor nutrition, insufficient exercise – are caused by the closings, not the virus. In September 2020, Joe Biden said, “President Trump may not think this is a national emergency, but I do think that returning to school for millions of children and the impact on their families and the community is a national emergency. I think that’s it. “If this was a national emergency six months ago and is still one today, where is Joe? Some would argue that he should have more time and that patience is required. He’s only been in office for a few weeks. But we shouldn’t be surprised that so many parents just run out of patience. Others argue that advocating school openings is against teachers. This is a convenient way to end the debate as teachers are often underpaid and undervalued and therefore not open to criticism. But I love my children’s teachers who are doing their best. This is about being pro-kids, not anti-teachers. In September President Biden said, “Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos did not rise. We all see the results. Millions of students are starting the new school year the way they ended the last one at home. At home. Parents are doing their best, but increasingly struggling to balance work, childcare and education, or worrying about their lost paycheck and how they’ll make ends meet while trying to keep their kids updated to keep distance learning. “According to Biden’s current plan, he has failed to meet the standard that he set for Trump. It is time for Biden to delve into this issue specifically. He has a tremendous impact on unions and those who work to ensure that children are excluded from face-to-face tuition indefinitely. He has a serious group of public health advisors who can convince nervous parents and teachers of the low risks they face when returning to the classroom (especially after vaccination). As Joe Biden said on the subject six months ago, “Mr. President, where are you? Where are you? Why don’t you work on it Mr President, that is your job. This is what you should focus on now. Getting our children back to school safely. “