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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/6/20

COVID-19 Is Claiming Another Casualty: Public Education

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Baby hand on chalkboard by Nenad Stojkovic via Flickr
Baby hand on chalkboard by Nenad Stojkovic via Flickr
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The pandemic could be killing more than those infected with COVID-19.

Due to its impact on in-person instruction, it might also be delivering a death blow to American public education.

School districts are experiencing a noticeable decline in enrollment as they head into the winter months continuing the remote and hybrid learning models with which they began the year.

New York City schools alone have noted losing 31,000 students this fall.

Massachusetts public schools, 37,000.

Fairfax County, Va., over 8,700.

Los Angeles Unified School District, 11,000.

Orange County, Calif., 8,000.

Wisconsin public school enrollment fell 3%.

Chicago has seen its largest decline in two decades.

Parents are opting instead to homeschool their children or enroll them in charter, private, and parochial schools.

Carroll County, Md. public schools director of student services, Karl Streaker, told the Baltimore Sun:

"We attribute a lot of this to the pandemic. We have experienced declining enrollment in Carroll County before, but I think the rate of this decline in such a short period is not consistent with anything we experienced."

Washington state's superintendent of public instruction, Chris Reykdal, added:

"As our nation continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, states across the country are seeing changes in K-12 enrollment as families make decisions about the safest and most effective learning environments for their children."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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