The American Academy of Pediatrics on Wednesday released expanded guidance for reopening schools that “strongly advocates for additional federal assistance to schools” whether classes are in person or virtual.
The expanded guidance comes as the debate over if and how to reopen schools in the pandemic – and in some cases, whether to close them back down again – continues across the country.
In a statement about the update, the AAP noted that, in places with high levels of coronavirus infections, schools will need additional federal help to support remote learning, pointing to a Pew Research Center study that found one in five teens are not able to complete schoolwork at home due to a lack of a computer or internet connection.
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“This technological ‘homework gap’ disproportionately affects Black, Hispanic, and low-income families,” the group, which represents pediatricians, said.
“The persistent racial and social inequities in our educational system, including disparities in funding, quality of school buildings, and resources for curriculum and teachers have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said AAP President Dr. Sally Goza.
“Without more resources, these disparities will worsen. Whatever school looks like this fall, we must be innovative and promote the well-being of all children, particularly children living in marginalized communities.”
The expanded guidance also includes recommendations encouraging cloth face coverings and discussion about decision-making based on community spread of Covid-19.