Studious female high school student writing on wooden desk with pencil in her hand

School closings as examples of ‘systemic racism’

Joy Pullmann of the Federalist applies a popular leftist label to school closings that have hurt students across the country.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris called it “systemic racism“ when a white cop knelt on a black man for almost 10 minutes. But teachers unions largely led by white people have knelt on the futures of black American kids for 13 months, and Democrats are taking millions to look away.

While the Biden administration still refuses to say whether schools should be fully open this fall despite rolling lockdowns already damaging two school years, new data shows systemic racial disparities in the availability of in-person education.

“Eighty percent of public schools were open for at least some in-person learning by the end of February, according to a government survey, but an estimated 78 percent of Asian eighth-graders were learning in a fully remote environment,” Politico reported last week. “Nearly 60 percent of Black and Hispanic eighth-graders also learned at home full time.” …

… U.S. Democrats have undeniably been the party pushing, enabling, and excusing school closures while leftist-led countries all over the world reopened schools starting as early as a year ago after initial lockdowns in March 2020. The consequences include deeply worsening the education of vulnerable children that was typically of low quality even pre-lockdowns.

There’s strong evidence that Democrats’ subservience to unions at the expense of children is a driving factor in this systemic display of racial injustice. On May 1, newly uncovered emails provided even more evidence that Democrats pushed to keep schools closed against kids’ best interests because of their huge financial entanglement with teachers unions. …

… Minority children are concentrated in districts that Democrats control. These school districts are overwhelmingly the nation’s poorest-performing and typically have been failing children going back decades. After Biden took office, Democrats paid back teachers unions for their massive political and financial support by sending the schools they control $213 billion in additional funding with no requirement to reopen.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...