How can we balance public health with the need to educate our children? It’s a historic debate that’s heating up in communities around the country. This week, we explore whether America’s kids should go back to class, if colleges should discount virtual instruction, and just how much we’re spending on reopening schools this fall.
Here’s what we have in store:
- That's Debatable: Should Schools Reopen?
- Intelligraphic: Back to School: Education Costs & COVID-19
- Double Digits: $36,880
- Points of View: Insights and analysis from past debaters
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Two perspectives on one of the nation's biggest debates this week.
Should Schools Reopen?
For some, the debate around school reopening is clear: Unless we return to in-person learning, a generation of students will fall further behind, educational inequality will deepen, and our children will struggle to cope emotionally and socially. And, they say, there's little hope for an economic recovery while millions of working parents are tending to school-aged kids at home. But others, including many educators, argue that well-planned virtual instruction can meet students' needs while keeping Americans safe. Even if the most stringent safety protocols are put in place, they say, returning to school is simply too dangerous. Should America open its classroom doors this fall?
For: The Case for Reopening Schools
“Millions of parents can’t return to work if their children can’t attend school. Opening the schools is essential to the well-being of students, and teachers and administrators have a duty to make it happen.” - Wall Street Journal
Against: I Won't Return to the Classroom, and You Shouldn't Ask Me To
“It’s impossible to hear about the way parties, day camps and church services have led to outbreaks this summer without worrying about what will happen if kids and adults gather in the fall. It scares me to think of how many more lives will be lost.” - The New York Times
From investing in new technology to transforming classrooms and buildings, schools are spending huge amounts to adapt to social distancing. As Washington debates another round of stimulus spending, we ask: Just how much has America spent to stabilize its education system? And where is that money going?
When one number tells two stories.
The average cost of private college tuition and fees last year
While colleges and universities are investing huge sums to transition to virtual and hybrid learning this fall, many cash-strapped students are calling for reduced tuition. Should virtual learning come at a discount? Or would cutting student fees bankrupt institutions and mean the end of higher ed as we know it?