While some families, especially those with financial means, have been able to mitigate school disruptions through in person options such as homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, and innovative models like microschools and “learning pods,” for many families, their children’s residentially assigned public school remains their only financially available option. Unfortunately, more than 50 percent of all public-school students in the United States began school remotely this fall. These children, including those with special needs, are being underserved due to the public education system’s failure to provide in-person learning options.
Students whose families pay tuition for their education are also facing significant hardships due to the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.
While the nation is focused on the January 5 Georgia runoff elections for U.S. Senate, there is a critical special election far closer to home, also scheduled for January 5, 2021.
Heather Mitchell, formerly a senior aide to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is the Republican nominee for Delegate in Virginia’s 2nd District. She faces Democrat Candi King.
Citing the “detrimental effects” of the educational status quo, Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts is calling for the county’s government-run schools to reopen their doors — or give out vouchers so families can find alternatives.
“For too many students, virtual learning has been a disaster,” Knotts said today. “Sadly, the detrimental effects of long-term school closures are not confined to academics — the mental health consequences of social isolation are very real.”
Allowing families to choose schools that are more suited to their children may play a key role in improving student mental health, including reducing adolescent suicide rates, suggests new research published in the peer-reviewed journal School Effectiveness and School Improvement.
The study is the first of its kind to examine the relationship between U.S. school choice policies and teen suicide and mental health issues.
The great Walter E. Williams, who taught economics at Fairfax County’s George Mason University, died last week. Dr. Williams was 84 years old. He was preceded in death by his wife and soulmate, Connie.
Dr. Williams was a gifted economist and beloved educator. Known for his unwavering defense of human freedom, Dr. Williams authored 11 books and numerous op-eds. His final column was about the modern tragedy of public education.
BLEXIT Virginia interviewed Mount Vernon resident Steven Mosley this week on Facebook Live. Mosley, who ran last year for a seat on Fairfax County’s school board, discussed the many benefits of school choice for all students, and for black children in particular.
Parents should have the right to determine “where and how their children are educated,” Mosley said. “When someone says ‘school choice,’ that’s what they’re talking about.”
A Virginia-based grassroots project, “Take the Red,” is releasing a series of videos urging voters to consider the GOP in a new light. One video focuses on the power of school choice to supplant the current monopoly in K-12 education.
“We don’t want anybody to be trapped in the government system,” says Heather Rice. “If you don’t believe that your child is getting the education they deserve, we want you to have a better option.”
In response to another year where a miniscule number of Black and Hispanic students were admitted to the incoming class at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (“TJ”), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott Brabrand is proposing to scrap the entrance exams and teacher recommendations and admit 80% of TJ’s students by lottery. The other 20% would be admitted on vague criteria
Still reeling from months of isolation and difficulties caused by the lackluster roll out of remote learning last Spring, many parents put on a brave face. They endured, fully assuming remote learning was a short-term blip that would soon end. However, the situation has become more dire with the majority of public schools across the Commonwealth using remote learning for the foreseeable future…
President Trump is calling for legislation to ensure that schools have the funding and incentives they need to safely reopen this fall and to empower families with school choice. To encourage schools to make in-person classes available this fall, the President is requesting $105 billion in education funding as part of the next coronavirus relief bill—$70 billion of which will directly support K-12 education.