By Lauri Hennessey, League of Education Voters CEO
By now, many of you have heard that all public and private schools in Washington state will be closed at least through April 24th due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Here at League of Education Voters, our mission is to put students first, “working with families, educators, and leaders to build a brighter future for every Washington student.”
How do we do that in today’s uncertain world?
First of all: we should not dispute the decisions made by Governor Inslee, Superintendent Reykdal, and local school districts. These decisions are agonizing and not made lightly. We all need to support our leaders in education.
However, there are severe costs. No matter what we do, kids are going to fall behind in the next month because of this health crisis. This will be the first time some school districts try to offer distance learning to all students, and we don’t know how it will work, especially for those in grades PreK-5. The ramifications in all of our schools will be huge.
Beyond that, there are other impacts on the families we represent. Many parents cannot afford to take six weeks (or more) away from their jobs, don’t have the ability to work from home, or cannot take extended sick leave. What happens to these parents? And what about the kids who rely on free and reduced-price meals? How will extended closures affect our most vulnerable children?
With all of these realities, I find it reassuring to try to focus on what we CAN do. The League will be a clearinghouse of information. Here are a few resources to start off: Read More