July 9, 2020
Education Justice Collective Responds to the President’s Comments About Reopening Schools
When considering how to reopen schools this fall, no decisions can be made about students without students.
Without considering the safety, personal and local concerns expressed by students, families and individual schools, districts and states, the Trump administration has suggested that they will use funding to pressure all schools to reopen in person this fall. Their demand ignores the unprecedented health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic on students, is incredibly shortsighted considering looming cuts to school funding and is clearly motivated by self-interest to diminish the growing severity of the coronavirus pandemic before the November 2020 presidential election.
The president and other education leaders must listen to the voices and concerns of students and make decisions that are in their best interests. Giving all students and families, especially those most vulnerable to the negative social and economic effects of COVID-19, a voice to express what supports they need to learn during this time and beyond is essential to ensure that when we reopen, our schools move forward to be more effective and equitable than ever before.
All stories written about reopening schools must include perspectives from students. By including student quotes and stories in conversations about opening schools, reporters can better capture the true effect of policies and statements like Trump’s on the stakeholders for whom education matters. To be connected to our network of students across the country and speak to them to learn their stories during COVID-19, contact Student Voice’s Director of Communications, Jenna Yuan, at email@example.com.
The Kentucky Student Voice Team is a statewide organization of young people who are co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools & communities as research, policy & advocacy partners.
It was founded in 2012 at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky—early childhood through postsecondary. Since 2021, KSVT has been an independent organization.
Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at StuVoice.org and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.
Houston Independent School District Student Congress
Houston Independent School District Student Congress (HISD StuCon) represents more than 215,000 students in the largest school district in Texas. Founded in 2014, StuCon is an independent student-run, student-led organization that pushes stakeholders across Houston and the State of Texas to take students seriously and facilitate their agency. For more information, follow @HISDStuCon on social media.
Students Toward Equitable Public Schools
Students Toward Equitable Public Schools is a Montgomery County, Maryland, based, student-led coalition, aimed at promoting a culture of diverse, equitable learning so that all Montgomery County Public School students can reap the benefits of a world class education, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.