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  • Writer's pictureNisha Anand


Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Nisha Anand and Van Jones offer three common ground solutions to the “back to school” crisis during these corona times. Kids should be able to continue learning during a pandemic, without risking the health of those around them — and without some kids being left behind on the basis of their race or zip code.

If former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump want to speak convincingly to the American people in their first debate this Tuesday, they need to pay attention to something both worrying and beautiful that is happening across the country.
As kids head back to school, teachers, students and parents alike are joining together to create and implement a broad range of back to school solutions. Over 56 million kids across the country are coping with socially distant classrooms, half weeks and online learning. Their parents and teachers are overwhelmed, too.
The worrying consensus throughout the US is that school is not going well. Everyone is struggling. But some kids are struggling even more, especially those in Black, brown and low-income communities. And everyone is coping with what feels like a lack of leadership when it comes to schools.
If we were advising the candidates, we would be screaming about this in every meeting. There are so many issues facing this country. Education is where they all meet: The pandemic, racial disparities (especially in employment and education) and our increasingly high-tech economy. It makes school challenging for all — and simply impossible for many.
The candidate who best addresses this crisis in education next Tuesday will find millions of parents listening carefully. In a partisan era, it could be a rare chance to swing votes. 

By Van Jones & Nisha Anand

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