School districts face difficult COVID-19 decisions as school year looms

Much of the hesitation to resume in-person learning is due to significant unanswered questions.

Many school districts around the country are still undecided as to what the new school year will look like a month before it is scheduled to begin. 

Despite pressure from the Trump administration to open school doors, crucial aspects of COVID-19 remain unknown.

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Scientists are still trying to figure out how COVID-19 impacts kids, and to what extent younger kids can unknowingly pass it on to older children and adults, according to a National Geographic article “Here’s what COVID-19 does to a child’s body.”

The federal government has not provided additional funding that districts would need to make schools functional in a social distancing environment. 

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has attempted to tamp down on concerns, saying “kids are actually stoppers of the disease,” though the limited amount of studies used to justify the department’s pressure to reopen have either not been fully vetted or are not applicable to the United States. There’s also no evidence that “kids are…stoppers”.

Still confused, the union representing principals in New York City have sent this list, per the New York Post, of unanswered questions to the Department of Education to assist in opening schools and other buildings.

Kalamazoo Public Schools has not yet decided whether to open its school year next month fully in-person, fully virtual, or a combination.

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