Falling Public School Enrollment Isn’t Just About The Pandemic (Despite What Mainstream Media Says) – Opinion

The disconnect between school boards/administrators and average Americans with school age children appears to be extreme and ever-increasing, exacerbated by the federal government’s apparent side-taking against the people with the strongest natural right to worry: the parents.

Take a closer look at this article In NoVa detailing the drop in enrollment at Fairfax County, Va. schools — which shares a border with the now-infamous Loudoun County, Va. — tells a tale of school administrators piecing together the mystery of a mass exodus from schools, and finding only the pandemic and lack of vaccines to blame.

Enrollment had held steady – in fact, increased slightly – through [the 2019-20]The impact of the pandemic, which began in March 2020, has not affected school years.

But the 189,852 of June 2020 dropped to 180,151 that September, when Fairfax and other public-school districts across Northern Virginia opted for a rocky “virtual”-learning environment, not giving students the chance for in-person learning. Another 410 students were removed from the rolls in June 2021.

Many parents with the means to do so moved their children to private or parochial schools – which were much more nimble in getting students back in class than local public-school districts. Some chose to home-school, while others relocated their children in areas where there were schools. School leaders in the region admit that some of their students, who were in schools pre-pandemics, don’t know where they are now.

According to the Superintendent, around 3,000 FCPS student were educated at their homes before the pandemic. This number now exceeds 5,000. He said that many of these families indicated that their children would return to school when vaccines are available for elementary-school students.

Brabrand told the School Board he was hopeful there would be “good news” soon regarding vaccinations for children ages 5 through 11, which he said would be a “game changer” for education in the county and across the country.

But discounting the concern parents have over curriculum such as Critical Race Theory; cultural issues surrounding gender which led to an alleged rape in nearby Loudoun County (but more on that in a minute; and the marginalizing of parents’ concern over what goes on in schools may be playing a bigger role than media is suggesting. It would seem so, if you use common sense.

Media does their best to convince us otherwise. This New York Times piece reduces parents’ concerns to a misunderstanding about what CRT actually is, insinuates that the effort to stir up the parents is led by powerful special interest groups on the right, and calls the effort “a scare campaign cooked up by G.O.P. operatives” courtesy of the face of the teacher union, Randi Weingarten.

Then there’s TThe Washington Post, which ran an op-ed just straight up saying it: “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t.”

The Loudoun County case, where a father was taken into custody for allegedly raping his daughter in a public bathroom by a transgender teenager, makes it difficult to blame the pandemic only for drop in enrollment in public schools.

It was particularly shocking for parents, and members of local school boards, to realize, through a letter sent by the National School Board Association, which local chapters claim they did not sign off on, that their government was conspiring against them. It led to parents being called domestic terrorists because they simply care about their children. Tea Party Patriots Action (TPPA), an advocacy group, began to educate the public with an 88 minute video tutorial about the NSBA. They urged parents to shut it down and released the video.

Other groups such as Parents Defending Education have released a “woke report card” and a searchable database that follows the money behind how much these CRT consultants are being paid, and how much the curriculum is costing taxpayers.

It appears that the power behind the parent’s demise is well-kept.

Public schools are seeing their enrollment decline, and there is a tendency to place more blame for the outbreak and lockdown restrictions. But don’t forget government overreach playing out with teacher unions and the local school boards — who are often chosen by those same parents and usually have political ties to state legislators — as a huge part of why parents are pulling their kids out of government schools. Although the pandemic will eventually be over, bad leadership can infect these communities for years to come.


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