WASHINGTON ― In a matter of weeks, millions of children will head back to school in the middle of a pandemic, leaving millions more parents filled with anxiety about risking their child’s health ― not to mention school staff ― to get an education.
Public schools cannot safely reopen without a massive infusion of emergency funding from Congress, which is already dangerously late to this. Think of all the things a single school needs: Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes for classrooms. No-touch thermometers. Regular deep cleanings, which means hiring more custodial staff. Ensuring that every school has at least one full-time nurse (25% of schools have no nurse at all). Someone on every school bus to screen kids’ temperatures before boarding. Gloves and masks for staff. Masks for students who don’t bring one from home. Resuming before- and after-school child care programs with new cleaning protocols.
That doesn’t even factor