Kirby: We must reopen schools to protect our children’s future

By Pam Kirby
Posted 10/14/20

While Democrats favor political games over the education of children across the nation, President Trump has unapologetically fought for the well-being of our students to safely return to school.

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Kirby: We must reopen schools to protect our children’s future


While Democrats favor political games over the education of children across the nation, President Trump has unapologetically fought for the well-being of our students to safely return to school.

As the coronavirus continues its downward trajectory in Arizona and across the country, scientists, doctors and pediatricians agree that it’s time to safely reopen schools in the United States and get our children back to where they belong: the classroom.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “it is widely reported that children are far less likely to catch COVID-19 and that children 17 and under account for fewer than 2% of confirmed infections across the United States.”

I believe that the education of our children is so much more than just an essential business — it is a top national priority to protect the well-being of our students and guarantee they receive the best education and care possible.

President Trump has fought for America’s students and remained dedicated to the task of safely reopening our schools, knowing that failure to do otherwise will have lifelong effects on the building blocks of success for the next generation. In direct contrast, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats have sided with teacher union bosses and remained committed to shuttering schools by going against health professionals for political purposes.

In-person education is also critical for working parents, who, throughout this pandemic and temporary school closures have had to balance their child’s online learning on top of bringing home a paycheck. To fully put America back to work and continue our reboot of the country’s economy, we must keep America’s schools open.

In order to safely reopen classrooms, the Trump Administration has acted to deliver a safe reopening plan based on science, data and common sense, as well as deploy critical funding, resources and guidelines across the country that prioritize Arizona students and their in-person education.

In addition to the $30 billion secured for schools and universities earlier this year, President Trump called for $105 billion in education funding to support safety measures such as smaller class sizes, more teachers and aides, repurposing spaces to allow for increased social distancing, and additional PPE shipments.

It is no secret that remote learning is less effective than an in-person education, which has ultimately led to a decrease in student participation and attendance since the start of the school year. Students also take on the educational risk of falling behind, especially low-income students who may not have access to the resources necessary to continue distanced learning indefinitely.

The statistics during school closures in the spring left many parents concerned as students’ math progress in low-income ZIP codes decreased by roughly 50%, and students in middle-income ZIP codes fell by a third. A recent study found that if in-person classes don’t resume until January 2021, Hispanic, Black, and low-income students will lose 9.2, 10.3, and 12.4 months of learning, respectively.

This is unacceptable for our children. Time away from the classroom could damage the education of millions of students for years to come and hinder our country’s economic comeback.

Even before the coronavirus hit, President Trump had a proven track record of putting American students first, and he will continue to deliver positive results over the next four years. Right here in Arizona, the administration made impressive strides to ensure every family’s freedom to choose the best possible education for their children.

No student should ever be trapped in a failing school. That is why the Trump administration proposed a new $5 billion annual tax credit to promote school choice, a move supported by a majority of Americans and Democratic and minority voters.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden claims that he wants to break down educational barriers, but by denying children in America the right to high-quality education simply because of their ZIP code, has turned his back on children trapped in failing schools.

A one-size-fits-all education model will not do it for Arizona students, parents, and families. Thankfully, President Trump is making historic investments to allow our children to have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential. I believe that students achieve more when they are in the classroom, and I am grateful to President Trump for his strong leadership and swift action to prioritize the education of America’s next generation.

Pam Kirby serves as the Arizona Republican Party first vice chair and is a member of the Latinos for Trump Advisory Board.

school, education