By Roger Riddell, Naaz Modan and Linda Jacobson
The nation’s public school districts faced unprecedented disruption to the school year as the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down buildings and forced learning online, to the extent educators were able to do so. Shutdowns forced districts and policymakers alike to make strides in addressing the “homework gap” resulting from a lack of home internet and device access that already adversely affected many students prior to shutdowns. Further complicating the situation: Educators needed additional training, the delivery of curriculum had to be rethought, and many low-income students’ only guaranteed meals throughout the day were through school programs.
And that’s not even considering the impending funding tsunami expected from the economic impacts of the shutdowns, or the challenge of reopening schools in the fall and planning for a variety of scenarios.