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Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., mentioned she is “proud” of how Democrats dealt with getting college youngsters again in lecture rooms as they handled the COVID-19 pandemic, and defended college closures even whereas acknowledging the affect that coverage has had on youngsters.
Discussing the difficulty on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash requested Murray if it was a “mistake” to maintain college students house for therefore lengthy. The query got here in mild of a Division of Training report on the nation’s plummeting take a look at scores launched Thursday, which confirmed dramatic losses throughout the board for college kids within the U.S.
“Dana, this was a choice of native college officers and our scientific specialists making an attempt to get their fingers round a pandemic that was killing tens of millions of Individuals to guard their youngsters, to guard their employees, to guard their communities. I’m proud that when Democrats obtained management a 12 months and a half in the past, Democrats voted for the American Rescue Plan that helped our youngsters get again into college safely – ensuring that our faculties had testing, and provides, and air flow, and the flexibility to verify their children might be protected at college. And as we speak, nearly each baby is again at school. That’s what I centered on, ensuring that we have been offering the sources to our faculties so they might reopen safely, and that’s what we’ve as we speak.”
Murray then acknowledged that “we’ve a difficulty about children being out of college,” stating that she is “very centered… on ensuring that we assist get our youngsters again to the place they have to be.”
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Bash pressed the difficulty, making an attempt to maneuver away from discussing the circumstances of the pandemic on the time.
“On reflection, no second ideas?” Bash requested. “Given the numbers that you just’re seeing, the decline that we simply talked about, do you continue to really feel snug with the best way that college districts even in your house state dealt with the pandemic?”
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These numbers included studying scores in 2022 for 9-year-olds happening by 5 factors and math scores happening 7 in comparison with 2020. The Division of Training mentioned this was “the biggest common rating decline in studying since 1990, and the primary ever rating decline in arithmetic.”
Nonetheless, Murray’s reply remained the identical.
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“I feel we have been underneath unprecedented instances at that time, the place individuals actually have been struggling to determine what was one of the best factor to do, to ensure that their children, their households, their youngsters have been protected,” she mentioned.