The Children’s Agenda is deeply concerned that school closures are disproportionately harming our most vulnerable children. We believe schools need to reopen safely as soon as possible, but are concerned the politicization of the issue, and the lack of sufficient resources and clear guidelines for schools, is putting reopening—and children’s wellbeing—in jeopardy.
We defer to public health experts on when it is safe enough to reopen schools. Given that our area meets established metrics to attempt reopening, the Children’s Agenda believes reopening must be equitable, prioritizing the students who are most impacted by school closures.
Shamefully, the current approach by New York State is institutionally racist, taking the most resources away from predominantly poor, and Black and brown students to balance the New York State Budget. As a result, the school district’s serving the highest proportion of poor, and Black and brown students are offering the least amount of in-person instruction. This is the opposite of how we should be prioritizing our resources, and New York State must do everything possible to reverse course.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.