Senator Rand Paul Discusses the SCHOOL Act on the Pegasus Podcast
This fall, we must make getting all of our kids back into in-person schooling a priority. Schools in Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most other countries that have reopened classrooms haven’t had outbreaks in schools or day-care centers. A review of 67 studies analyzing the virus across the globe, found that "children are far less likely than adults to suffer gravely from Covid-19, with most showing few symptoms." Other studies suggest that children may be less susceptible than adults to catching the virus at all, meaning they are less likely to spread it, too.
CDC Director Robert Redfield has recently said "I'm of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen."
The American Academy of Pediatrics "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."
So what happens if schools refuse to open?
Earlier this week, we discussed with Pegasus Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Gary Houchens the potential educational implications of not having in-person schooling. Now, Senator Rand Paul joins us to discuss his plan for families if they are stuck without a stable schooling option this fall. The SCHOOL Act would provide families with direct federal funding to give them more options for their child's schooling. This funding would allow parents to choose from a private school holding in-person classes, homeschooling, or a pandemic pod, or any other option that would best fit their child's needs.
Teachers unions across the country have taken nearly absolutism positions against reopening. Some unions have gone even farther, requesting a moratorium on charter schools, defunding of police, and declaring Medicare for All as a requirement to reopening. While truck drivers, grocery store clerks, law enforcement officers, nurses and more stood strong as essential workers over the last few months, it appears some teachers need more than most to return to their work.
Perhaps teachers should not be forced to hold in-person classes, but families should not be forced to accept an educational option that will fail their child either. While many public schools fight to stay closed, private schools are fighting to open. The focus this fall must be getting our kids back into in-person learning, and if schools fail to do that, families must be given the funding to be flexible.
LISTEN to our conversation with Senator Rand Paul on education during COVID-19 BELOW