The Decision to Return to In-Person Schooling Should be Made with Students in Mind - Not Special Interests

On Tuesday, the Center for American Liberty, founded by RNLA Co-Chair Harmeet Dhillon, announced that they will be suing California Governor Gavin Newsom over his executive order which bars in-classroom education for 80% of California’s children. The complaint was filed on behalf of a group of parents who have a diverse set of concerns as a result of Newsom’s order which applies to public and private schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has encouraged schools to do whatever they can to reopen for classes in the fall. Last week, Secretary DeVos told Fox News’ Martha McCallum:

Education is an essential function. Schools are essential, teachers are essential, kids have got to get back in school and this administration is going to continue to fight to expand choices and opportunities so that families who do want to choose a different option have the power to do that.

While different states and school districts are taking varying approaches to schooling in the fall, experts have concluded that it is possible for students to return to in-person classes as long as appropriate precautions are taken.

The consequences of harms caused by school closures at the end of the 2019-2020 school year are already manifesting. There has been a drastic decrease in education generally with students spending about half as much time as normal on learning. Furthermore, school closures have disparately impacted certain demographics. Low-income families have a harder time keeping up with distance learning if their school district even provides it at all.  Finally, children subjected to abuse and neglect in the home are no longer coming in contact with the education professionals who are able to report mistreatment to law enforcement or social services.

Regardless of how you feel about students returning to in-person schooling the in the fall, there’s one thing that we all can agree on. Decisions should be made with the interests and rights of students in mind – not to serve teachers unions or political interests.

To learn more about this important, emerging issue, please join RNLA for a webinar entitled “COVID-19 and Going Back to School” on Friday, July 24th at 2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will feature Jonathan Vogel, former Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, and Mark Trammell, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Center for American Liberty. Register here today!