Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) this week introduced legislation making in-person learning a condition for schools and other educational institutions and agencies to receive federal education funds.
The Keep Schools Open Act, which specifically states that educational agencies and institutions provide “in-person instruction to students as a condition of receiving Federal education funds, and for other purposes,” comes nearly two years into the pandemic, which shut down schools in some states for months and months on end, depriving children of in-person learning.
“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our children tenfold. From increased anxiety and feelings of loneliness, to an almost 23 percent spike in emergency room visits for suicide attempts among children aged twelve to seventeen—there is a dire need for our children to be at school,” Green, who is a physician, said in a statement.
“If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that the cost of keeping children out of school far outweighs any health benefit,” he continued, noting some of the issues with virtual learning, as there is often a parent who “has to make the difficult decision to work or stay home, which disproportionately affects women and single parents.”
“My Keep Schools Open Act is a crucial step in the fight to ensure children and families don’t suffer additional learning loss and career setbacks due to unnecessary school closures,” he added.