From the Joe Biden for President campaign:
ICYMI: Virginia Education Leaders, Parent, Student Praise Biden-Harris’ Roadmap to Reopen Schools Safely
Yesterday, former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), and 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson held a virtual roundtable in Virginia discussing how to reopen schools safely. They were joined by Stephanie Cook, a special education teacher in Franklin County, and Ethan Lynne, a high school student in Ashland, VA, and praised the Biden-Harris safe school reopening roadmap.
See below for some of the highlights and coverage:
“And I, as a member of the Board of Education, am particularly concerned about the equity impact of the pandemic that we are in. These circumstances have revealed and shown to us just how much challenges we already have in this system, and have exacerbated them,” said former Virginia Education Secretary Anne Holton. “And here we are working in an environment where our president has blown it. He blew it at every single turn, opportunities to beat the pandemic way back from the beginning, all the way forward, opportunities to show compassion, to show leadership, to help get a testing system working, a contact tracing system working. So many ways the challenges our educators and families are facing right now are directly connected to the lack of national leadership…I can’t wait for the new leadership we are all going to bring in together in November!”
“We know that in-person education is critical, and is the best way to deliver education. We know that academic achievement is much better when is in person. Access to nutrition, school meals are better when is in person. Social and emotional learning best if it’s in person. Our ability to identify child abuse can only be done if the children are showing up in school. And, get serious, we are not going to reopen the economy until we reopen the schools. But we have to reopen the schools if it can be done safely,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03). “Our first priority must be the safety and health of the students, the school staff, and their families. Unless the federal government delivers significant financial support to schools, and state and local governments, school districts will not have the resources to properly open.”
“This has been a trying time for America. We are going through a situation pretty much, I think, this is the most desperate situation for America since World War II. This is a situation that requires everybody in this country to come together, to make sacrifices, and work together for the greater good. And it is really a time to test leadership,” said 2019 National Teacher of the Year and Richmond Teacher Rodney Robinson. “Often in education, one of my phrases is that COVID-19 is determining who is an administrator versus who is a leader. And right now there’s a severe lack of leadership from the federal government when it comes to handling education.”
“I believe we all hoped and prayed that someone would pump the brakes at some point, that Republican leadership would realize the incalculable error they had made in diminishing and dismissing this virus instead of uniting across the aisle to attack it head on, as Americans,” said Stephanie Cook, parent and special education teacher in Franklin County, VA. “If we had had an aggressive multifaceted federal response to containing this virus and a commitment to larger reopening as a nation only when it was safe, we would not be in this horrible position. I wouldn’t be having to choose between risking my children’s health and safety and risking them falling further behind in their education and social-emotional well-being. As a teacher, I would be excitedly planning for a new year of instruction, not waging war in my district for a commitment to only switch from virtual learning when it is safe.”