Senate Education Committee Chairman Publishes Resource Webpage to Help Schools Plan to Reopen Safely in the Fall
Posted on July 22, 2020
“Nothing was more disruptive to American life, and nothing would help lead it back toward normalcy than for our 135,000 public and private K-12 schools to reopen safely this fall.” — Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2020 — The Senate Education Committee Chairman today published a webpage featuring a collection of resources to assist the efforts of states and local school districts and private schools to reopen schools safely in the fall, including federal guidance, health organization guidance, links to state plans, best practices, and articles on the importance of having children in classrooms. More information HERE.
Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said during a recent committee hearing on getting back to school and back to work:
“Among the casualties of COVID-19 are the 75 million students who were sent home from schools and colleges in March. Add to the casualties the teachers who weren’t prepared to teach remotely and the working parents who suddenly had school children at home and who weren’t prepared to home school. The question before the country today is not about whether to go back to school or college, but how to do it safely.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics has said: “The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.
“The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.”
Alexander concluded: “Even though COVID-19 has not, in general, hurt young children and college-age students nearly as much as older or more vulnerable Americans, there is some health risk. But in my view the greater risk is not going back to school.”
The Senate Health and Education Committee Chaired by Senator Alexander has held eight hearings to date on the COVID-19 pandemic: