Dems’ School Closures Were an Absolute Disaster for Poor and Minority Students, Study Shows

Students that were forced into remote learning due to school closures experienced significant learning loss, which hurt poor and minority students the most, according to a study conducted by researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR).

The study looked at the consequences of K-12 hybrid and remote learning over a period of two years, starting in the fall of 2019, and found that students who were in-person for the majority of the 2020-21 school year on average lost about 20% of a year’s worth of math learning, while students who were learning remotely suffered a 50% loss of a year’s worth of math learning in the same time period.

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Surge in Homeschooling Families Continues after Schools Reopen

The number of families homeschooling in the United States has remained significantly above pre-pandemic levels even though government schools have reopened.

The number of homeschooling students increased by 63% during the 2020-2021 school year in 18 states that shared data, AP reported. That percentage then dropped by only 17% in the next academic year.

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Republican Report: CDC Official Confirms Teachers’ Unions Given ‘Unprecedented’ Status on Whether to Reopen Schools While Parents Not Consulted

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used “political science” and not “medical science” to collaborate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to create guidance on the issue of reopening the nation’s government schools.

Appearing as a guest on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, Scalise referred to a report released by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that revealed a CDC official’s testimony confirming the nation’s top health agency coordinated with teachers’ unions at an “unprecedented” level to craft school reopening guidance, despite the CDC’s earlier claims that their coordination with the unions was routine.

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Congressman Mark Green Introduces Bill to Mandate In-Person Learning for Schools to Receive Federal Funds

U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) authored new legislation to mandate in-person learning in order to continue to receive federal funding.

The bill, entitled the Keep Schools Open Act, was co-sponsored by more than 10 other lawmakers, including Representatives Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04) and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03).

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Child Psychiatrist: Toll on Children’s Mental Health During Government Response to Pandemic Is ‘Utterly Devastating’

Though children are least likely to experience severe illness from COVID-19, the level of mental health distress many are exhibiting during the government’s response to the pandemic is “utterly devastating,” child psychiatrist Dr. Mark McDonald said in a recent interview.

The Los Angeles-based clinician expressed his concern during a late November podcast for the Unity Project, an organization working to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthy children in grades K-12.

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‘Ohio Students Have Suffered Enough’ Jim Renacci Pushes to Re-Open Schools

On Wednesday in a press release, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci said students need a brick-and-mortar school, and that remote learning has devastating consequences. The Republican is urging all Cincinnati area educators to fight for in-person learning.

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Tennessee Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Award Funding to Families Impacted by School Closures, COVID Mandates

Tennessee Senator Mike Bell and Representative Michael G. Curcio

State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) introduced a bill on Monday to award funding to families impacted by school closures or various COVID mandates.

The legislation, SB1647/HB1671, would award vouchers to parents who choose to relocate their child to a different school because of the issues.

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Open Schools Advocate Schillinger Running for Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor

Clarice Schillinger, who last year helped to elect school directors across the state to get kids back into the classroom, announced this week she is running as a Republican for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.

For the Franklin County native who now lives in Montgomery County with her husband and children, Schillinger and her family felt firsthand the impact of schools closing in her own Hatboro-Horsham School District in reaction to COVID-19. She started the Keeping Kids in School PAC to endorse school-board candidates and formed Back to School PA PAC to provide financial support to school-director campaigns across Pennsylvania.

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Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer Exposes the ‘Dirty Truth’ About School Closures

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer exposed the “dirty truth” about school closures at a Friday event hosted by the Center of the American Experiment.

Emmer represents Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District and chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. He believes education will remain a hot topic in the 2022 midterms.

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Tennessee Senate Education Committee Recommends Passage of Legislation Enabling Governor to Override School Closures

If local officials decide on emergency school closures in the future, Tennessee’s governor may have the power to override them. This, according to a bill recommended for passage by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday. Its companion bill in the House was passed on first consideration on Monday, gaining a little progress since its filing last month.

The bill would also grant all local education authorities (LEAs) with the sole power to open or close schools during an emergency as defined by the Tennessee Code. However, if the governor, local health board, or public health official were to issue orders to the contrary, then the LEA’s decision would be nullified. The bill also noted that the governor’s authority would supersede the authority of local health boards and public health officials. 

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Dunnavant: Lack of State Leadership Leads to Bad School Closure Decisions

As the 2020 elections fade into the background, Governor Ralph Northam has re-instituted capacity limits and restaurant curfews, but unlike in spring 2020, the governor has not closed schools back down. He has also not called for schools to open back up, leaving local districts to make their own decisions.

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Governor Walz’s Plan Defers to Schools for Campus Openings

Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday that Minnesota schools will have the majority of authority on if or how they open campuses, based on discretionary assessment of their district’s localized data.

According to Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-82 and the accompanying “Safe Learning Plan,” schools must watch the spread of COVID-19 in their communities to determine the learning model that will suit their needs. These models are also subject to change throughout the school year, a protocol that Walz refers to as “dialing back [or] forward” in his executive order.

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Commentary: Senate Paves Road to Reopening the Economy with Coronavirus Relief Bill, But When Will States Reopen Schools?

By a vote of 96-0, the U.S. Senate has passed a $2.2 trillion legislative package, by far the largest in U.S. history, to keep tens of millions of Americans on payroll and expand unemployment benefits to those who are laid off while the country waits out the deadly Chinese coronavirus that poses additional risk to seniors and those with underlying conditions.

That way, when the virus passes, those businesses, particularly the 30 million small businesses that are struggling most of all right now, but also critical industries, will be able to rapidly reopen and we can get back to our lives.

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