We do have an alternative to shutting schools.

With the head of one of Rhode Island’s teachers unions saying “the responsible decision” is to shut schools and force students back into distance learning, his reasons are worth a look:

… the overwhelming number of cases, the inability to do meaningful contact tracing, the arctic temperatures we are expecting so windows cannot be opened, the insufficiency of supplies, etc. etc. …

Except for the number of cases, every one of these items is a matter of money — for government processes, for air filtration, for supplies — and Rhode Island has been sitting on a billion dollars of federal windfall.

Here’s the real problem:  our governing class (including the heads of the teachers unions) thought COVID was just about done thanks to the vaccine, so all that money could be laundered into their pockets and those of their key supporters.  Even though their calculation turned out to be wrong, they’re not willing to give up their dreams for the sake of something as unimportant as the education of our children.

If you’re of a mind to draw a longer-term lesson, this is essentially an amplified instance of the way Rhode Island government does business every year.

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