Because There Is No Plan
I’ll give you a reason to write your congressperson. It takes five minutes–at most. I’ll make it easy for you with a tool in a link below. But know this: Joe Biden wants to get all kids back in school, but nobody knows what his plan includes.
Consider this question: do you think Joe Biden will get kids back in school without having a plan to do so? No, I’m not connected to this politically, but I have your answer: it’s not going to happen.
First, look at Joe Biden’s “Roadmap to Open School Safely.” This is from his campaign; this is his pledge to American voters. It says NOTHING about opening schools by a specific time, nor does it outline what he intends by opening schools. What it DOES say is he wants to ensure safety measures are in place: vaccines, etc.
Second, the mouthpiece of the President, Jen Psaki, has stated that Joe Biden’s plans include getting kids back into school within his first 100 days of office, which makes the deadline April 30. That would give most kids 15 days in school before the summer break.
And what does “back in school” mean? That definition is changing daily. On Thursday, February 11, Psaki said it means back to school at least one day a week.
There is no plan. I repeat, there is no plan. On Tuesday this week, the congressional panel of Education and Labor Committee met to discuss how they would use the $130 billion allotted for education from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. From Biden’s statement on his campaign site I linked above, most of that money is for vaccines and safety measures. It is also supposed to increase teacher wages and provide faster internet. That relief package (did I mention the plan isn’t in place) won’t be ready for a vote until at least mid-March.
Furthermore, Biden has to overcome a huge two-worded obstacle: teacher unions. CNN calls this a “messy reality.” Yes, reality is messy. And yes, Biden’s 100-day plays is facing reality. Psaki’s changing narrative is making this more evident by the day.
The bottom line:
- Working parents have reason to want their kids back in school.
- Teachers have reason to have safety and logistical concerns.
- Joe Biden’s administration is still working out the plan, which as of yesterday, includes having kids in school at least one day a week, no later than April 30.
Know This: Things Are Improving; You Can Help
Bill Gates’s favorite book of all time talks about how humanity is getting better: less violence, less hate. It may not feel like it, but it is true. We still have work to do, though. We, meaning me and you.
It is easier than you think. You aren’t helpless, and you aren’t too busy. For instance, this past year, when I saw the Nagorno-Karabakh war footage on Reddit, I felt powerless. (Fighting between Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, against the Republic of Artsakh with Armenia.) Both sides were guilty of sending missiles and using white phosphorus on civilians. But someone showed me a quick and simple way to help: click on a button and send a pre-crafted letter to my congress members. I’ve since gotten a few email responses updating me on their response.
Yesterday, I saw that 200 million women in the world had undergone female mutilation, according to UNICEF. I’m shocked that this is a modern and routine practice in several parts of the world, especially in African countries. I asked: what can I do. One, I can help raise awareness (such as this). Two, I can write my congress members.
A Simple, Fast, & Easy Way to Write Congress
Whatever issue comes to your mind, you have a voice. Here’s a website that makes it almost effortless. You input your address, and it shows you your representatives (President, Governor, Senators, Representatives). From there, you can click on a range of issue topics. It will show you the latest updates, including who sponsored what and who is promoting it. You can then click “write a letter” and either fill in the blanks or select pre-made letters. Hit send. You’ve done your part.
Whether you are concerned about kids going back to school, COVID vaccines, wars in the Middle East, female mutilation, or the price of insulin, you have a reason to get involved. Click the button. Make your voice heard.