Wow: NY Times Front-Page Story Credits Florida (Briefly) for Keeping Schools Open

It New York Times’ Shawn Hubler, reporting from California, had an obvious but still surprising take on the front of Wednesday’s edition: “Public Schools Have Lost Over a Million Students in Two Years.”

For the final paragraph to be effective, however, you would need to wait. Times to mention the obvious culprit: Covid restrictions that kept schools shuttered, a policy that most now admit caused incredible harm to children.

All together, America’s public schools have lost at least 1.2 million students since 2020, according to a recently published national survey….

A broad decline was already underway in the nation’s public school system as rates of birth and immigration have fallen, particularly in cities. However, experts believe that this drop will be difficult to reverse after the coronavirus crises.

The widespread drop-off has been explained by many factors. However, experts suggest two causes. One is that some parents got fed up of remote instruction and mask mandates. The other is that many started sending their children to schools.….

It’s true, it is. Times Florida was actually mentioned briefly but it was praised. 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis, (Republican), is responsible for keeping schools open. But teachers’ unions weren’t blamed for keeping schools shuttered in urban-liberal enclaves.

Some states, such as Florida, where remote instruction was not allowed, have seen enrollments rebound and remain strong. An analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank, concluded last month that remote instruction was a major driver around the country, with enrollment falling most in districts most likely to have delayed their return to in-person classrooms.

This sounded ominous for the anti-school choice crowd: Hubler talked to a Laguna Beach doctor “so fed up with the public school district’s plan for reopening classrooms….she moved two of her four children to private schools.” She also reported school districts are finally responding to their clientele and holding off on (useless) mask mandates.

The policymakers have been trying to minimize further losses. Some districts have resisted reinstating face masks, even amid a resurgence of Covid-19, because of the suspicion that mandates are turning off families. California lawmakers recently postponed the addition of Covid-19 inoculations to the list of required school vaccinations in part because some school superintendents worried about the potential hit on enrollment.

Hubler concluded his remarks with the parental cri de coeur:

“We love our school,” Lisa Rogers, 38, a district mother of two, said. “But if my children are forced to wear masks again, or if I’m forced to vaccinate them against my will, I’m going to pull them out and home-school.”

Mask mandates could be a threat to public school futures. Tell the paper’s City Hall bureau chief Emma Fitzsimmons, who on Thursday all but begged New York City Mayor Eric Adams to slap masks back on all schoolchildren (the useless, harmful mask mandate for toddlers remains in place, a galling fact Fitzsimmons didn’t deign to mention). “Adams Resists Reinstating Mask Orders as Cases Rise.”

On Wednesday, Mayor Eric Adams from New York City stated He doesn’t plan on bringing back mask mandates immediately, after the city entered the high alert level for the coronavirus this week….If he was asked by a reporter if he would reinstate the mask mandate in schools, Mr. Adams replied: “No.”

Fitzsimmons wouldn’t stop harping on school mask mandates, without providing any evidence they work, mentioning them even before vaccines.

….The guidelines also recommend that Adams suggests that schools require masksBring back proof of vaccination at all restaurants and gyms.

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