Northeast governors issue statement supporting keeping kids in school during the pandemic

Seven governors from northeastern states, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, issued a statement today that supports keeping kids in school during the pandemic.

On November 13th, Montgomery County’s Board of Health voted unanimously to order all Montgomery County schools, public and private, to close for 14-days starting November 23rd due to the rising number of cases. The schools are to operate virtually during this time.

Below is the statement from the seven governors:

Medical research as well as the data from Northeastern states, from across the country, and from around the world make clear that in-person learning is safe when the appropriate protections are in place, even in communities with high transmission rates. In person learning is the best possible scenario for children, especially those with special needs and from low income families. There is also growing evidence that the more time children spend outside of school increase the risk of mental health harm and affects their ability to truly learn.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Delaware Governor John Carney
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo
Massachusets Governor Charlie Baker

During the Board of Health meeting, in an answer to a question, it was stated the order originated with Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh and the CHOP Policy Lab. The county is working with the CHOP Policy Lab on issuing guidance and recommendations related to the pandemic.

A November 11th article in The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the CHOP Policy Lab’s recommendation to close schools. It included these two dire paragraphs:

And experts at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the region’s prominent voices on the virus, warned Wednesday of a “catastrophic situation” building and urged all to shut down classroom instruction as soon as next week.

“We are sort of at the collapse of these plans” for school reopenings, said David Rubin, director of the CHOP Policy Lab. The research team on Wednesday advised schools around Philadelphia to revert to virtual programs, at least for older grades, starting Monday and continuing through New Year’s.

Let us know what you think in the comments.