Is It Important to Open America's Schools this Fall?

Is It Important to Open America's Schools this Fall?
July 25, 2020
 
Perhaps one of the most significant changes for the average American family resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is the huge shift in the way we have had to deal with the education of our children and youth. An expected way of life, for so many, was suddenly upended with an almost universal closing of schools.
 
This new shift brought chaos as families were forced to take responsibility for the education of their children, and schools were forced to innovate in order to deliver meaningful instruction... both good things. Is there a silver lining to be found in this cloud?
 
Many reports show that in recent years, America’s educational system has declined, while spending has continued to increase. Americans have become increasingly unsatisfied with our schools, resulting in efforts by citizens and legislators working together to bring meaningful reforms. But nothing has shaken things up like COVID-19. Could this be a blessing in disguise?
 
As we are rapidly approaching traditional “start of school” days, the question making daily news is: “Will schools open or remain closed?” This question is significant because it impacts far more than convenience and schedule. It directly impacts the development of our children, and thus the future of our country. So, should schools reopen this Fall? Every reader has their own answer, and a reason for it.
 
Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control put out a report on why our schools should be open this Fall and why our children need to be back in school. Read it here.
 
The report covers a number of topics:
  • It gives statistical information on COVID-19 and children, showing that most children have minimal risk from the virus. The conclusion is that they should not be a significant reason for schools to be closed.
  • It deals with the importance of educational instruction and the negative impact on children and communities who don’t get it.
  • It has a lengthy section on the social and emotional development of children in the community versus isolation.
  • It mentions the unfortunate reality that some children are not in safe home environments and rely on schools to meet their nutritional and physical activity needs.
  • It concludes with this statement: “Reopening schools creates an opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets—our children—while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.
So, is it important to open America’s schools this fall?  Probably. But opening should not mean settling for what we had. It should be a single step in a continued focus on making things better for our children, families, and the future well-being of our country.