The Cost of Reopening Schools

Updated: Jun 22

On why it is vital we should reopen schools for students with disabilities, and what it will take to make it a reality.

The article was originally published for The Weeklyish, a newsletter for inclusionists.

Hey y’all,

Does anyone else feel like they have whiplash?

There is a lot to catch up on, and my apologies for the absence. After the tragic murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests and riots, I needed some time to process. And TBH, I am still processing.

If anyone wonders where I stand, I’m not afraid to say #BlackLivesMatter. And if that offends you, there are plenty of posts and articles that help explain why saying this doesn’t make me a Marxist, but if that is your conclusion, you are entitled to it. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts about this at another time.

Frankly, there are more acute concerns to discuss, like reopening schools.

a young boy running down an empty school hallway with a “lion king” backpack, reopen schools

[Image Description] a young boy running down an empty school hallway with a “lion king” backpack (Photo by Caleb Oquendo from Pexels)

Pressure to Reopen

There is a lot of pressure to reopen schools right now. And it is coming directly from the top.

Absolutely right, @POTUS! Learning must continue for all students. American education must be fully open and fully operational this fall! — Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 7, 2020

And for the most part, I don’t disagree with the sentiment.

For nearly four months, students have been home getting a mere sliver of an education. The transition to digital learning has been good for some students, but not all. And for those students with multiple disabilities and complex behavioral needs, they have hardly received any education at all.