The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the American education system in ways few educators and policymakers could have imagined. Forced to shutter their doors in the spring, most schools pivoted to some version of remote learning but were unsuccessful in helping students grow (or even remain on track) academically. Even if the overall education experience, including remote learning, improves for most students through the end of 2020, it will likely do little to recover the learning that was lost. And as most students in the U.S. are currently engaged in either remote or hybrid learning models, the question of whether the improvements schools have made will stem further learning loss remains open. Working parents of young children are in an especially difficult position. Some children are too young to engage in online learning, forcing parents to decide between their jobs and childcare in this already-difficult economy. The answer is not to prevent parents from doing what they think best for their children. Instead, states should ensure that families across the socioeconomic spectrum can access the options they need. States should immediately allocate grants equivalent to the average state contribution to per-pupil funding to qualifying students. A state agency or not-for-profit entity should jointly manage the grants with parents. Learning Equity and Progress (LEAP) grants should apply to students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who meet income qualifications. Families could use LEAP Grants for a wide variety of state-sanctioned education, health, and child-care related expenses. LEAP grants are a short-term solution that can produce long-term benefits, and families and states may wish to move forward with a flexible grant model even after the pandemic has passed.
Distance-Schooling, Familiensituation, International, Kinder- und Jugendalter allgemein, Stellungnahme, USA, Wirtschaft
Foundation for Excellence in Education (2020). How to Stem Learning Loss and Promote Progress with Direct Aid to Families.