Schools in Republican States Were Open In-Person for Twice as Long as Dem-Led States

Schools in Republican States Were Open In-Person for Twice as Long as Dem-Led States
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Despite a mere 0.21% of all coronavirus deaths being children, a combination of hysteria about the virus and teacher’s unions who don’t care about kids have kept tens of millions of them out of schools for the past year and a half.

Even today as states reopen, schools are one of the areas lagging, particularly in areas run by Democrats. Just days ago AOC and NYC Mayoral candidate Maya Wiley appeared at the first indoor concert in the city since the pandemic began. It was packed with thousands of attendees – meantime schools in the city won’t be fully reopened in person until the fall.

Distance learning (at least for grades K-12) has proven to be a failure during the pandemic, and some economists predict that the effects will be felt for decades to come. According to new research, we can expect those consequences to be heavily concentrated in blue states.

According to Unbiased America:

Differences in school reopening policies have created a huge education gap between Republican and Democratic states. Schools in Republican states offered in-person learning to children at nearly twice the rate of those in Democratic states.

Republican states (those that voted for Trump in 2020) sent their children to school an average of 134.1 days in the 2020-21 school year. Democratic states averaged just 67.7 days of in-person learning. That’s a 66-day gap, or 432 hours of face-to-face instruction.

The only noticeable flaw with the methodology here is that “Republican state” and “Democrat” states are defined by how states voted in the 2020 election, not by the party affiliation of their governor and state legislature. While it’s generally the case that states that voted for Trump have republican governors and state legislatures, there are exceptions.

“Time is a rough proxy for learning. So lost instructional time is likely to lead to lost learning,” said Chad Aldeman, policy director at Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab.

And the gap is not going to suddenly start closing when schools start returning to normal. “A lot of kids are going to need some additional time than normal going forward,” Aldeman said. Indeed when schools begin opening this fall, millions of students nationwide will be stepping inside a classroom for the first time in more than a year and a half.

A state by state breakdown can be seen in the chart below:

May be an image of text that says 'AVERAGE DAYS OF IN-SCHOOL INSTRUCTION 2020-21 School Year Republican States Democratic States 134.1 67.7 Days Days Unbiased America'

(Chart used with permission)

Of note, Vermont (which is correctly classified as a blue state) does have a Republican governor and Democrat legislature. Arizona and Georgia are also classified as a Democrat state but has a Republican governor and state legislature. Kentucky is classified as a Republican state but has a Democrat governor.

In other words, if we were to classify states by their governor’s party instead of how their residents vote in national elections, the results would be even more in favor of Republican led states when it comes to days spent in school in-person.

Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New YorkDebunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate


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