RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper and Health Secretary Mandy Cohen announced yesterday that, on a whim, K-5 public schools would be allowed an option to open full-time in-person instruction.
Yes, Cooper and Cohen said the decision was based on the ‘science and data,’ and it’s true that the science and data support opening schools, but that science and data have been clear for MONTHS. There was no new revelation that children are at very low risk and are better off in school; just a new political calculation.
So why now? Just one day before the announcement, GOP leaders, including Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senate Leader Phil Berger, and DPI Superintendent candidate Catherine Truitt, held a press conference with parents and health professionals to call on the governor to open the schools.
Politically, keeping the schools closed is untenable, and the Cooper regime was beginning to understand that. Hence, a whimsical, political decision to open only elementary schools, to head off criticism and, once again, a scrambling sprint to get in front of the North Carolina people, who are ready for schools to open.
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Still, the arbitrary dictates remain, with K-5 schools given the full-time option, but not grades 6-12. A fifth grader is fine, but a sixth grader is too dangerous, apparently.
That’s why Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest is calling out Cooper once again, and calling for ALL parents and students to be given the option of in-person instruction.
In a press release, Forest stated:
“Yesterday, Gov. Cooper said it was dangerous to talk about reopening schools. Today, he said it was OK – at least for some schools. What changed?
“It does not need to be this complicated. Private schools in North Carolina have already figured out how to reopen safely. So have a majority of other states.
“It’s time to reopen all of our schools to give parents the option of in-person learning. Now.”
That question, ‘What changed?’, is an important one. The answer is clear; the politics changed. Cooper and Cohen have had the science and data to support opening schools for months. In fact, since the advent of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic panic, the science and data have consistently indicated that children are very low risk, and improbable spreaders of the virus.
That same science and data points to it being completely reasonable to open ALL schools (and college campuses, too).
If there was an actual framework for reopening based on real science and data — an actual plan — we wouldn’t have to wonder at what point the rest of the students can return to the classroom full time. The plan would would be clear, with set benchmarks for every district, to reach and move forward.
Instead we have Phase 2.247? We’ve been subjected to delays and modifications, extensions, and completely arbitrary decision making that picks winners, and damns losers.
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