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GOP rep to introduce bill fighting school closures, calls school choice the ‘civil rights issue of the 21st century’

Since his first day in office, Joe Biden has promised to reopen schools, but continues to pick politics over science. 

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It is no secret that coronavirus lockdowns are hitting K-12 students particularly hard. Not only are they being robbed of an in-person education, they are missing out on the critical emotional development and social interaction that comes along with it.

Since his first day in office, Joe Biden has promised to reopen schools, but continues to pick politics over science.

One republican lawmaker has had enough.

Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop will introduce legislation this week aimed to fight school closures and give families more options for education amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill, called the Creating Hope and Opportunity Through Increase Choice in Education Act, will authorize “Opportunity Grants,” which will provide financial assistance to families in public school districts that are not yet reopening for in-person learning.

The income-based grants can be used by families to pay tuition at private schools, purchase educational supplies or pay for homeschooling or micro-schools, according to the Daily Caller.

“Our public school students have been out of class in many places for a year,” Bishop said in a Daily Caller interview. “And even now, although the science is clear that students can go back to school safely, that it isn’t even necessary that every teacher be vaccinated first, we still have the Biden Administration bowing to teachers unions rather than moving as quickly as possible restoring students to classrooms.”

In fact, Joe Biden’s CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday that the science shows COVID-19 actually spreads more when schools are closed than when they are open.

“What we are finding from the science-based literature is that there is more spread that is happening in the community when schools are not open than when schools are open,” she said. “So we certainly want to make sure that there is limited to no transmission of disease in our schools, and of course we are managing all sorts of risks.”

“If schools are closed, there is lots of other risks,” she said. “That is, risks to food insecurity and many of the other things mentioned: the lack of education, educational milestones being missed. So, many other things that we have to think about in the risk. So, what we are trying to do is make sure that there is limited to no transmission in the schools and we believe with the strategies that we have put forward that there will be limited to no transmission in the schools if they are followed.”

“The science has demonstrated that schools can reopen safely prior to all teachers being vaccinated,” she added.

Bishop urged that his bill would provide parents complete control of their child’s education.

“The idea is that parents would be able to take control of the situation – if they believe that their students would be well served by being back in class, this would provide them a means to pay for that,” he said.

The legislation will require that 10 percent of any federal K-12 public school coronavirus relief funds go toward the grant program, the Daily Caller reports. It also prohibits the federal government from having a say over the practices of private religious or home education, meaning the government cannot force private schools to shut down in-person learning.

“Lots of times, whenever government money gets involved, people want to put government restraints,” Bishop said. “And the whole idea here is, the public school system, because of the headlock that the unions have on them, are not responding to the needs of students for in-person instruction.”

Bishop noted that while one would hope teachers’ unions would not push back against the bill, “there is not a good track record in terms of school choice and public teachers’ unions.”

“They don’t want parents to have choice, apparently, but choice in education, as a general proposition, is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” he added.

The funds would be allocated through a means-tested program based on qualification for reduced-price lunches.

If a family has an income that is between 200 and 250 percent of the threshold required to receive reduced price lunches, for example, then 70 percent of their eligible expenses would be paid for by the grant money.

“I will say this, wealthy families are not going to get relief from this legislation,” Bishop said. “But for middle-class and low-income families, this would be a lifeline to the parents of students who need to be back in class.”

It is critical to get students back into the classrooms as quickly as possible, not only for their education, but for their mental health.

A CDC study found that across the country between April and October of 2020, the percentage of emergency room mental health visits increased by 24 percent for those between the ages of five and 11, and 31 percent for those between the ages of 12 and 17, Business Insider reports.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DG

    February 17, 2021 at 9:47 am

    We pay a school tax. If the kids cannot go to school then the tax needs to either be restructured so parents can use it to send their kids to a school that is open or find other means to educate. All that money is being wasted right now.

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COVID-19

Biden Says He Doesn’t Think COVID Is ‘Here To Stay’

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Joe Biden

On Friday, President Biden said he doesn’t think that COVID-19 is here to stay, but added that he does think the virus will remain around the world.

“No, I don’t think COVID is here to stay, but having COVID in the environment here and in the world is probably here to stay,” Biden told reporters at the White House.
“COVID as we’re dealing with it now is not here to stay, the normal doesn’t have to be. We have so many more tools we developed and we continue to develop that can contain COVID and other strains of COVID,” he added.

Biden’s comments come shortly after six of his former health advisers, who helped him with the COVID-19 pandemic during his presidential transition, published three opinion articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association urging Biden to change his strategy in responding to COVID-19 to one accepting that the virus was here to stay and learning how to live with it.

“They say the first thing the administration needs to do is take a broader vision, by recognizing that Covid-19 is here to stay. In one article, Dr. Emanuel and two co-authors — Michael T. Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert at New York University — pointedly note that in July, Mr. Biden proclaimed that ‘we’ve gained the upper hand against this virus,’ which in retrospect was clearly not the case,” The New York Times reported.

Biden’s comments suggest he has not yet listened to the advice of these experts, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened to reaching over 1 million new daily cases.

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COVID-19

Former COVID Advisory Board tells Biden corona now ‘one of several circulating respiratory virus’ like flu

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Covid-19

Doctors who once advised President Biden on how to handle the coronavirus are now telling him to change his strategy via a series of published articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The six doctors, Drs. Ezekiel Emanuel, Michael Osterholm, Celine Gounder, David Michaels, Rick Bright and Luciana Borio were members of the advisory board that worked with Biden during his transition period before taking office.

“As the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates, COVID-19 is here to stay” and therefore Biden’s national strategy must be “updated.”

“The goal for the ‘new normal’ with COVID-19 does not include eradication or elimination, eg, the ‘zero COVID’ strategy. Neither COVID-19 vaccination nor infection appears to confer lifelong immunity,” they wrote.

“Current vaccines do not offer sterilizing immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Infectious diseases cannot be eradicated when there is limited long-term immunity following infection or vaccination or nonhuman reservoirs of infection.”

The “new normal,” they explained, should be “recognizing that SARS-CoV-2 is but one of several circulating respiratory viruses that include influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and more.”

The doctors also pointed out there are many treatments with varying levels of effectiveness such as remdesevir and dexamethasone, monoclonal antibody treatment, and oral treatments like Molnupiravir and Paxlovid.

“Finally,” Fox News reports, they said it is imperative “to rebuild trust in public health institutions and a belief in collective action in service of public health.”

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