The Seattle Times’ reporting that school reopening has been based on politics was completely unsurprising to parents with children in Seattle Public Schools [“Politics, race were key factors when Washington schools reopened for in-person learning during pandemic,” April 19, Education Lab].
SPS and its board have ignored and belittled parents’ concerns in the middle of a deepening mental-health crisis associated with remote learning and refused to call for broad reopening until required by Gov. Jay Inslee. Now calling themselves “reopen,” in fact SPS is providing most students only eight hours a week of in-person school, and teachers are prohibited from providing new instruction during the in-school hours.
If we think SPS is going to do something different for fall, then it’s fool us twice and shame on us. The state must step in to demand a full return to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director’s recent statements that she expects all schools should be fully in person and no longer remote by September.
Cherise Gaffney, Seattle