Editor: Once again, parents left a recent meeting of the Loudoun County School Board angry and frustrated, because their hopes for schools reopening had been dashed, and the goalposts had again been moved.
Despite convincing the governor that they should be bumped to the head of the vaccination queue, some educators are now saying school reopening should be delayed until all the children get vaccinated—a goal that could take two years or more. This ignores the science that school children are one of the least at-risk groups for both catching and spreading the virus. It also ignores the economic, social and emotional damage that these continued lockdowns have had for school children and their parents.
We would hope that school boards could balance the needs of both families and teachers, but this does not appear to be the case. More often than not, the school board seems to just rubber stamp whatever the education bureaucracy wants them to do, assuming that they are the experts and have the best interests of the students in mind—an assumption I have come to question. If any of you angry parents really want this situation to change, please consider running for the school board next time.
Our county Board of Supervisors also seems unwilling to provide any help, insisting that their only connection with schools is setting their annual school budget. Maybe it’s just me, but that budget seems like a pretty big stick that could have significant influence. Perhaps if their upcoming budget was tied to the reopening of classrooms, the public schools would have more incentive to figure out how to make that happen. The education bureaucrats are among the most highly paid employees in the county. And yet these geniuses could not figure out a way to safely restart education last fall, even though they had 5+ months to work on the problem. Yet private schools seemed to have had no problem figuring out safe ways for both in-person and remote learning, even in the midst of the pandemic.
Sadly, this whole situation could be corrected if we had leaders with the courage to implement school choice, and put the power in the hands of the parents. If the playing field were leveled and the public schools had to compete, they would either figure it out or go out of business—and either one of those alternatives would be preferable to the current mess.
We need to elect candidates to office who have the intelligence and the backbone to do the right thing, and not just pocket union campaign contributions and look the other way while a corrupt system fails yet another generation of students, parents and taxpayers.
Clark Kidd, Potomac Falls