It’s devastating to see our leaders so willing to put our children, teachers, staff members, and our loved ones in harm’s way during the middle of a pandemic. Numbers across the nation are soaring, impacting our seniors, our families, those on the frontlines, and now, our youth.
In Georgia, many criticized our governor, including Trump, who disagreed that opening the state was too early. Several mayors and school board leaders spoke about the need to mandate masks as we work to get back to a sense of normalcy and are reopening.
Gov. Kemp’s decision to rush our state to quickly reopen placed many families at risk of getting the virus. In fact, one of the first areas he cut in the budget was education. This decision created a lack of the resources needed to safely reopen schools.
Cutting the education budget doesn’t reopen schools by any means necessary!
We’re seeing a drastic push to reopen schools by Trump and Betsy Devos and it’s like watching a bad game of chess. Unfortunately, our children and teachers are the pawns of this political chess game. Unlike the game, the moves our leaders make are causing detrimental outcomes for some battling COVID-19.
Blatant decisions being made by them and our state elected officials are placing more of our families and children in harm’s way. Ironically, I find myself equally baffled at how some people are being silent about the push to reopen schools when the post offices, governor’s mansions, and federal buildings aren’t reopened.
Moreover, this rush to reopen schools – which had tons of issues before COVID-19 – without safety procedures in place, protective measures for staff and students and amist continual demands of equitable resources for Black and brown children is not only a civil rights but a human rights issue.
Budget cuts in education take away from the resources we need to keep our children and staff safe!
We cannot reopen schools as business as usual which means we need Governors to stop cutting the damn education budgets. Reopening schools with severe budget cuts in the middle of a pandemic is beyond irresponsible, and it’s immoral!
Health and wellness is a huge area that impacts the academic journey.
Educational leaders aren’t communicating with the most essential and frontline workers in education including teachers, paras, front office administrators, nurses, bus drivers, janitors.
Do we realize how many children come to school with the common cold, fevers and even other health impairments that we don’t visually see signs of? Or how many children in lower and working class households don’t have insurance? Or how many middle school and high school students are helping take care of their families? These questions should be discussed in school board meetings. We need change to get the funding formula right.
A change that requires us to rethink those in state leadership, professional standard commissions and legislation, going past accountability but clearing the house to give space for leaders who want to see social injustices corrected and ended.
A change that focuses our attention on the impact schools have in communities thus requiring us to redesign the funding formula for schools to be successes for children, families, and communities.
We want equity in educational services but not enough people are demanding the funding formula be changed!
Until this is changed, school districts and state educational leaders will continue using the public school vs charter school argument as to why the resources public schools need aren’t being funded while pushing charter schools into condemned or previously closed traditional public schools.
Reopening schools must not take away any parents’ right to choose the best educational setting for their child. It must require us to ensure that we are providing schools that are taking learning outside of the box which incorporates virtual learning, not taking away things in education that make sense.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.