A new study has determined that a horrifying number of students have not been heard from or properly educated because of school closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bellweather Education Partners discovered that as many as 3 million “missing” students have not received any formal education since last March, and enrollment in many school districts is down significantly.
Throughout the country, districts are seriously concerned about the number of students who remain unaccounted for almost a year later.
Examples include 13,000 students in Michigan, 12,000 in Dallas and 88,000 in Florida who have not attended school starting this fall, ABC News reported.
What did you think was going to happen. Kids need to be in school. They need to be in classrooms with their friends. Also with NO plastic barriers or masks. Get these kids back to learning.
— Donovan Rossi (@d_rossi21) March 2, 2021
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One of the concerning takeaways from these figures is that students who have not maintained their education tend to be almost exclusively from marginalized groups, the study said.
“We believe that these were the students who were in crisis prior to the COVID-19 crisis. These were probably poor students, probably English language learners, learners who may have had a disability, may have had home insecurity, food insecurity and may have had a fragile immigration status,” Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told ABC News regarding the situation in his district.
A new @CDCMMWR finds that K-12 schools can limit the spread of #COVID19 through masks & other preventive measures, even with high rates of COVID-19 in the community. More: https://t.co/IHzsYH8Wms. pic.twitter.com/JcQIqxm5pB
— CDC (@CDCgov) January 26, 2021
Many school districts nationwide have not yet returned to in-person education or even a hybrid format, which is significantly better for many students than exclusively virtual instruction.
Between teachers unions making lofty demands and a lack of innovation from school districts, it’s easy to see why so many students have essentially disappeared.
Take a look at Los Angeles Unified School District, where the teachers union has claimed that the state’s plan to reopen schools is “propagating structural racism,” Politico reported.
California parents: If @GavinNewsom doesn’t get your kids back to school full-time by fall, would you consider moving to TX, even temporarily, just to get your kid in school?
— Kira (@RealKiraDavis) March 2, 2021
The argument made by the union is nonsensical, especially given the Bellweather study.
There are valid concerns regarding outbreaks in poorer and lower-income communities, but a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study already determined that schools can reopen if proper precautions are taken.
It’s official: the CDC says we can safely send our kids back to the classroom.
The one thing standing in the way of the science? Joe Biden.
Our kids are struggling, Mr. President. Enough is enough: we need to reopen our schools. pic.twitter.com/PiPdBI3wMB
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 25, 2021
For inner cities, there needs to be at least an option for students to return to a classroom in order to help working parents and keep their children on track.
There are almost no consequences for truancy anymore, and those who were already spotty on attendance had no incentive or anybody holding them accountable to return.
While public schools certainly have their flaws, keeping them closed without an alternative is incredibly dangerous.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.