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Father, we pray for families who are trying to manage their children's school plans. Do a miracle for the faith community, God!

ENCOURAGING SCHOOLS TO REOPEN SAFELY: President Donald J. Trump is taking action to ensure schools safely reopen in the fall and empower parents to make decisions about their children’s education.

  • President Trump is calling for legislation to ensure that schools have the funding and incentives they need to safely reopen this fall and to empower families with school choice.
  • To encourage schools to make in-person classes available this fall, the President is requesting $105 billion in education funding as part of the next coronavirus relief bill—$70 billion of which will directly support K-12 education.
    • Approximately $35 billion of the $70 billion will be reserved for schools that reopen.
  • Under the President’s vision, students and parents will also be offered support to allow them to choose the school options that are best for them.
  • Along with any new funding, schools must innovate and employ creative methods – such as flexible schedules, cohorting, and master teaching – to keep kids and teachers safe.
  • If schools do not reopen, funding should follow students so parents can send their child to the private, charter, religious, or home school of their choice.
PROVIDING FLEXIBILITY TO PARENTS: Parents should be given the flexibility to choose what option is best for the wellbeing of their child and family.
  • It is vital that parents be allowed to weigh both the benefits and risks of sending their child back to school, including the level of community spread and the makeup of their household, especially for multi-generational households.
  • The best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children.
    • Data suggests that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases, and 99.96 percent of all fatalities are adults.
  • Lengthy time away from school both harms a student’s ability to advance academically and prevents educators from best ensuring the wellbeing of students.
  • Furthermore, school closures make it difficult for parents to work, potentially hampering the financial security of millions of working American families.
    • Estimates from the Council of Economic Advisors suggest that 5.6 million parents will be unable to return to work if schools do not reopen this year.
PRIORITIZING THE WELFARE OF OUR NATION’S CHILDREN: Failure to offer in-person classes could harm students’ development, especially those in disadvantaged communities.
  • While studies have shown that long-term school closures adversely impact students from all backgrounds, they are especially harmful for those with fewer resources.
    • According to a survey by EdTrust, 50 percent of low-income and 42 percent of families of color lack sufficient devices at home to access distance learning.
    • McKinsey & Co. has found that school shutdowns deprive lower income students of vital support and engagement, resulting in disproportionate learning losses.
    • Another study showed that due to shutdowns last spring, the average student will begin this school year roughly 35 percent behind in reading and more than 50 percent behind in math compared to a typical year.
  • Without in-person learning, educators are also unable to monitor important learning deficits, as well as report signs of abuse and address mental health problems.
    • According to Federal data, education personnel report one in five cases alleging child abuse or neglect.
  • Lack of in-person learning also deprives students, especially the most disadvantaged students, of access to important services.
    • Nationwide, nearly 30 million American students rely on schools for free or reduced meals.
    • More than 70% of children receiving mental health services do so at school, and nearly all therapies for children with intellectual or physical disabilities are performed at school.
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Cathy Ruggles
July 26, 2020

School choice is essential to allow parents to enroll their child in an environment that is as optimal and appropriate for each individual child’s needs.

Ana
July 26, 2020

Can our taxes be prorated for the months school was closed this year? Yes, teachers who “taught” from their homes should be compensated. But, the facilities were not in use which saved the community in electricity bills and water bills and food bills. Can someone put in a recommendation that our taxes be lowered this year??

2
Mary Ahlborn
July 25, 2020

We are witnessing the results of Public Education with the far left agenda interwoven throughout the curriculum, demonstrated vividly portrayed with the Anarchy taking place in our streets. How long will government fund schools teaching propaganda about our nation’s history and propagating immorality that undermines parental authority and the fundamental Christian values and principles that have made our country great. Government Funding for all students should be equal. The wealthy and the low income families have more opportunity to choose how their children will be educated. Shouldn’t the middle income families have this opportunity as well? Our nation will not survive if we continue to send our children into a hostile environment that undermines our freedom, our values and our faith in God.

12
Daniel
July 25, 2020

At first glance this sounds great. And it may be a good thing in the end.

I am concerned, however, that this is the kind of thing that will lead to controlling children in private schools or in the home; a back door to subvert parental authority over their children and give it to the state.

Often a “free” handout has strings attached. What will we be giving up in return for the funding following the children? Could it be a way for governments to finally reach into private schools and Home school settings? A way for them to start regulating how we educate or what we teach?

As I understand it, contracts limit what freedoms and legal grounds the parties can exercise. Read the small print, as they say. To have a contract you need an offer and acceptance. Accepting the money is acceptance of the terms. But those terms are not always stated clearly.

4
    Mary Ahlborn
    July 25, 2020

    You have a point, but the private schools have the option of not receiving those funds if the government dictates policy. Right now my great-granddaughter is attending an excellent Christian School through a state scholarship program. This is the first phase of allowing competition among schools. But unless our country returns to honoring our religious rights granted to us by our Constitution, our country is doomed. Let’s pray the Lord restores our schools back to teaching His commandments which our Founding Fathers knew was imperative, if we were ever to continue to exist as a sovereign, moral nation under God.

    9
Vicki Prentice
July 25, 2020

Regarding the statement: “If schools do not reopen, funding should follow students so parents can send their child to the private, charter, religious, or home school of their choice.”

Christian parents who opt to home school must be careful about accepting funding from the government. If they do, they may soon find themselves beholden to the government and the government insisting on controlling what and how children are taught–in essence, taking away the freedom of parents to choose curriculum and methods that best fit their families and children’s needs, especially if it is Christian curriculum. Accepting funding will most likely come with strings attached that lead to more government control of home schooling.

My prayer is that our president will do whatever he can to keep homeschooling legal and a viable option for parents with as little government interference as possible.

13
Elizabeth Schneider
July 25, 2020

I support schools re-opening this fall, but with my son headed to 10th grade and him choosing to go back to the physical part of it instead of online, I’m VERY leery! With the facemasks and social distancing and being cut off from how a real school setting should be, I really don’t think this is at all healthy with prolong mask wearing and his mental health of not interacting with his peers like he does normally!

6
    Aimee Smith
    July 25, 2020

    All of these are valid concerns. My daughter is a Dept. Chair at a local High School and the idea that 1500 (which is half the school population and attending in person while the others would be online) would have to have their temperatures taken on the way in, being social distanced, and wearing masks all day. (I feel wearing the masks all day would actually compromise the immune system.)
    Also, they would not have regular washroom access as there would have be someone who could sanitize after them, and they don’t have that. I could go on and on about the traumatic conditions which would only put everyone under a LOT of ongoing stress.
    I am all for parents having “real choice” as the only our horrible public schools will ever improve is having good competition that requires them to improve if they want parents to again want to send their children there. Enough of not giving our kids the tools they need like phonics and math skills instead of wanting to introduce them to the radical progressive “new normals” like little children in Kindergarden being introduced to transgender ideas, etc.

    We need accountability to be brought to the local community instead of some interest groups in Washington determining what our children are introduced to.
    As mentioned in other comments, there are many things that need to be seriously looked at on all sides, but parents need to be able to have more say, and the State less.

    4

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