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Education Inequality During COVID

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

With the school year just around the corner, talks about how to safely reopen schools are at the forefront of national debate and discussion. While we are privileged to go to GFS, where we have the facilities and opportunity to continue to receive an adequate education both online and in person, that is not the case for many Americans.

Surveys and research conducted suggest that 41% of teenagers never transitioned to online school last year. These numbers are higher within latinx and black communities, further perpetuating a system of academic inequality.

Because of the ongoing public health crisis, schools are left with a choice between safety and in person learning, which for many school districts equates to a choice between safety and a decent education. While educational disparities are pervasive, particularly in districts with a high percentage of BIPOC, these inequalities become only more pronounced with the need for either online education or socially distanced in person learning.

With issues such as access to technology and materials (including internet broadband) as well as disparities in school funding, students of color, low income students, and students with disabilities have been systematically left behind. Additionally the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on low income communities and communities of color will leave children returning to school (and their families) more vulnerable.

In these conversations about how to safely conduct schooling in our city and our nation, it is important to consider the inequitable impacts and work collectively to create a curriculum that is accessible to all children (even those who will have to stay home).

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- What can we do as a school and as individuals to push for equitable access to education?

- What long term effects might result from the inequalities amplified by COVID-19 and how can we work against them?

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