Democratic Lies Around School Closures, Reopenings, and Learning Loss

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, White House representatives and Democratic lawmakers have recently made an effort to clarify their positions on school reopening guidelines.

Karine Jean-Pierre dodges questions about student loan handouts

Democrats claim they’ve always backed students heading back to classrooms. They say President Biden’s $1.9 trillion reconciliation package in March 2021 made it possible for schools to reopen country-wide.

Meanwhile, Republican-led states like Florida had already been successful in getting students returned to school before the stimulus package.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told journalists on Thursday, “After Biden took over, 47% of schools were — in less than six months, our schools went from 46% to — open — to nearly all of them being open to full-time.”

About $121.9 billion was allocated by the American Rescue Plan to the so-called Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

This was meant to support regional initiatives in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that aim to mitigate COVID effects, restoring pre-pandemic school operations, such as better building airflow.

The percentage of public schools across the nation that provide full-time in-person education climbed from 54% to 98% since March 2021, as per the Department of Education.

Democrats rewriting history about school reopenings

Based on a Fox News Digital analysis of Department of Education data, states and local districts used less than $15.6 billion, or around 12.7%, of the funding given to them under the ARP’s ESSER program.

Given that the ESSER program mandated schools use the monies for “equity” activities as well, it is unknown how much of the expended funds were truly allocated to COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

In addition, as reported by the education non-profit, The 74, schools in states that supported Trump in 2020 reopened 75% of the time; those that supported Biden reopened 37.6% of the time during the 2020–2021 academic year.

Democrats sharply criticized Trump and Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis for promoting the reopening of schools in the autumn of 2020.

DeSantis charged Biden with being obedient to teachers unions that resisted restarting schools in March 2021.

“Biden should have wanted to send everyone back to school yesterday, but he can’t because he doesn’t want to anger the teachers’ union,” according to DeSantis. “It’s a pitiful leadership failure not to defend these children and their families, in my opinion.”

The Education Department data also revealed some regions that put in place the most school closures only used 5% of the ARP funds received, while still allowing the majority of students to resume in-person instruction.

More than 10% of the monies granted were used by states like Florida and Texas, where schools already resumed when Democrats enacted the ARP.

The Congressional Budget Office predicted in 2021 that the money would not be completely spent until 2028, despite the fact the federal government demanded local districts to spend all the cash by September 2024.

Requests for a response from the White House were not answered.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.