The Disneyland Resort will re-open to the public on April 30, initially at 15% capacity. Next week, the Angels will begin their season at Angel Stadium, playing in front of real, live fans. Restaurants are now able to have indoor dining again, albeit at a limited capacity. And throughout the pandemic, we have all crossed paths and shared indoor space at supermarkets, Costcos, WalMarts, Best Buys, etc.
And yet the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Education – following the urgings of union leaders – on March 4 voted to stay with remote learning for the remainder of the school year – keeping students at home, staring at their computer screens for hours a day.
The day before, the Anaheim Elementary School District Board of Education voted 3-2 to return to in-person instruction on a hybrid basis – and this is a school board dominated by AUSHD teachers union activists.
Many of the county’s largest school districts long ago resumed in-person instruction. Orange County’s largest district, the Capistrano Unified School District, has nearly 30,000 students and staff back on campus, and provides a 100% in-person option for elementary school students. Irvine Unified has resumed in-person instruction. The Garden Grove Unified School District, which abuts AUSHD and serves similar demographics, has resumed in-person instruction.
Indeed, thousands of AUSHD students are already actively participating in school athletics.
The evidence is overwhelming that these school shutdowns negatively impact kids in terms of their educational, emotional, psychological and social development. For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been recommending that schools resume in-person instruction. The health impacts of being confined to home and deprived of needed socialization far outweigh risks of contracting COVID. That’s the science. That’s the data.
More than 430,000 Orange Countians have been fully vaccinated – a number that is growing at a rapidly increasing clip. Leading world epidemiologists and other heath authorities advocate re-opening our schools, and a top public health expert projects we will likely achieve herd immunity levels in April.
The data has shown that fears that schools and students would serve as “super spreaders” of COVID in their communities have proven unfounded.
Furthermore, the AUSHD Board’s action means the district will lose millions in state and federal funding. This is the same Board that claimed dire funding needs as justification for backing a massive property tax increase in 2020
Yet the AUSHD Board and its union leaders have disregarded all of this. Instead, they act from fear and self-interest, and against the declared desires of the districts parents and students. All around them, schools and businesses and virtually every other aspect of Orange County society is moving forward based on the reality of advances in combating COVID.
Only one AUSHD Board member, Anna Piercy, voted to resume in-person instruction. Ms. Piercy was the lone voice of common sense and experience among her colleagues during that March board meeting.
Ms. Piercy is also the President of the Board of Education, and by virtue of that position is empowered to call a special meeting of the board. Now would be the time to exercise that authority, and call a special meeting of the AUSHD Board in order to re-consider their abdication of reason, and their responsibility to represent the interests of parents and students.