How to accelerate the Illinois exodus
today at 12:02 pm
Don’t reopen the schools. Or keep everyone in the dark about whether they will open.
Illinois parents and students are still at sea, wondering if their schools will reopen in the fall. At best, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are vague about when they will.
Lightfoot says that Chicago schools won’t reopen until those all-knowing, all-seeing health experts declare that it’s safe. Ha. As Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said, Lightfoot’s goal is “aspirational.” As in, I guess, “having or showing a desire to achieve a high level of success or social status.”
Pritzker’s reopening-policies-from-on-high are just as vague and useless. Last month he “advised” schools that they better get ready for both in-person learning and e-leaning depending on whether the data are available to make a return safe. It’s so “unclear,” he added, as if it clarified anything.
His recent state re-opening guidelines are so flaccide as to be useless. Schools can open when the state is in his Phase 4 of the reopening schedule. Phase 4 means: that the infection rate of those tested and hospital admissions continue to decline. It would only begin when a “region” experiences a continuing decline in infection and hospitalization rates and maintains “surge capacity.”
If schools are physically to open, students like everyone else would have to wear masks and maintain social distancing. To help schools figure out what this imprecision means, the Illinois Department Public Health will explain it all. Scary prospect that; “We’re from the IDPH and we’re here to help.” Illinois now is in Phase 2, and no indication when it will pass into Phase 3.
If Pritzker or Lightfoot have any idea of the burden this places on children and their parents, they’re ignoring it in their rigid, take-no-prisoners compulsion “to follow the science.” Which they’re not doing. If we’ve learned anything, the coronavirus targets the elderly, not the children. The so-called mystery illness that is infecting children is so rare that it hardly justifies denying hundreds of thousands of children of their right to an education.
It would be nice if Pritzker and Lightfoot would share with everyone little more specificity about what standards and goals they have in mind. Whenever that might be, parents can’t wait until then. Planning for the next fall semester has already begun. Will single mothers be able to work? Will day care be available? Will high school students looking forward to a college athletic scholarship be able to hone their skills on a school team? Will parents have to shop for laptops or fall clothing? From just annoying to down-right confusing, the questions will be confounding.
This is just the kind of state-imposed intolerable imposition that drives people from Illinois. Just what the state needs–more footloose people who are figuring out that the only way to rid themselves of the craziness is to flee to another state. Bid them a bon voyage, J.B. and Lori.
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