Republican members of the House of Representatives are asking that the Department of Education disclose any documents pertaining to student performance declines caused by the epidemic.
They are also investigating what the $263 million in federal coronavirus recovery money was actually used for.
Letter From the GOP
In a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday, a coalition of Republican legislators asked for the department to hand over all correspondence regarding school reopenings with external entities, including teachers’ unions.
The letter stated experts stressed that the cumulative effect of school closures, due to pandemics, hindered pupils from succeeding academically.
In addition, the letter noted Republican committee members intended to ensure the department was taking all necessary measures to guarantee states and school districts were allocating funds appropriately.
This is needed to make up for the severe academic losses brought on by the extended pandemic school closures.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 25, 2022
Republican lawmakers pointed out that much of the federal money meant to help schools cope with coronavirus had either been wasted or diverted to cover costs unrelated to COVID-19.
Early this month, Washington Examiner published an article detailing how school municipalities across the nation spent the federal coronavirus relief money they received.
These uses ranged from diversity and equity training for staff to the development of virtual education infrastructure and the installation of synthetic grass on the athletic fields of one district.
Legislators want to see any correspondence the department had with other parties, such as teachers’ unions, on resuming classes.
The heads of the main teachers unions in the country were given the opportunity to evaluate the CDC’s reopening school guidelines before they were released last year.
Lack of Oversight
House Oversight Panel ranking member Rep. Comer released a statement in which he held the Biden administration and a radical teachers union responsible for student achievement declines, due to school closures.
Comer claims Democrats’ protracted school closures have caused severe learning loss, traumatic events, and unforeseeable implications for American students.
Furthermore, despite the severity of the situation, so-called emergency monies are not being used to compensate pupils who have missed school due to the shutdown.
Moreover, he stated the Department of Education under Biden must explain why the allocated money is not being used to reverse the decline in student achievement.
Good lord, what an ignorant thing to say. A McKinsey study found the pandemic left students in schools with majority Black populations six months behind in math and reading.The learning losses, McKinsey noted, could reduce their lifetime earnings by $49,000 to $61,000. https://t.co/mJ6pt5QhVY
— Marc Thiessen 🆓🇺🇦 (@marcthiessen) August 24, 2022
Rep. Foxx, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and Labor, agreed real monitoring is necessary for change.
As a result of the pandemic, she claimed, American children were kept out of school by the Biden administration and its teacher union allies, leading to severe learning loss.
Many pupils are embarrassingly far behind in their academic progress, despite the fact millions of dollars in funds supplied to school systems have been stagnant.
The Department of Education did not provide a response when asked for their view on the matter.
This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.