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Orange County Register - By John M. W. Moorlach

Parents want choices on sending their children back to school. That’s the main message from a survey my office sent this month to constituents in my 37th District of the California Senate. Responses arrived from about 2,500 families. Of those responding, nearly 70 percent were parents, 20 percent grandparents and the rest guardians or other persons involved with raising children.

Some major findings: About 50 percent said the distance learning during the last part of the school year did not meet their expectations. That was the time the coronavirus lockdown progressed and all students were sent home.

Nearly 60 percent said their child spent on average three hours per day or less online.

Looking forward, more than 50 percent preferred sending their children back to school full time. More than 90 percent said parents should reserve the right to choose distance learning, classroom learning or some combination of the two.
Here are some comments from constituents:

• “There is no one-size-fitsall answer. Each family should be able to decide for themselves what is best for their child.”

• “My husband and I would prefer to both be employed. But if they intend to force distance learning, I will quit and homeschool our children so they do not fall behind.”

• “Teachers are essential workers. If you don’t open the schools, I want a refund of my property tax dollars that are used for education so I can make other arrangements.”

• “I’m a teacher with four kids at home. I can’t teach and school them. For me, school is my day care. I don’t have a budget to pay day care for my school-age kids.”

• “I am concerned for students that are challenged by school and have less than ideal home environments. Distance learning will have tragic effects on minorities and the poor, burying them and setting them up for failure. My only suggestion is to put teachers behind plexiglass in the front of the classroom and get the kids back to school where they are healthiest.”

• “Certain medical, financial and logistical cases may require some students to stay home. However, for the rest, having complete stay-at-home, online learning seems to be generally unproductive for many students.”

• “I was forced to quit my job to stay home with our three children since they have nowhere to go while I work. Working from home was near impossible. We are now a one-income household — my husband has had a pay cut as well. We are now unable to pay our bills and looking to grocery distributions in the community. If we have to continue with distance learning, we will be forced to choose to privately homeschool instead, as distance learning was an utter failure and my children learned nothing. We are also pursuing moving out of state permanently.”

The survey suggests parents and guardians want a choice in how, where and when their children are educated, while protecting the health and safety of all children and educators, as well as their families at home.

Parents’ comments revealed a wide variety of stresses related to closing schools, including financial struggles, damage to children and family relationships, regression in academic intellect and many others.

The recurring theme of the survey comments is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer.

The bottom line: People know what is best for their families and how their communities should best respond to a public health concern in the short- and long-terms.

Families need to be consulted on returning their children to school. They need to be given choices that fit each family’s unique situation and needs.

Education and other government officials need to listen to, and heed, the families they serve.



John M. W. Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, represents the 37th District in the California Senate.

 

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• “Teachers are essential workers. If you don’t open the schools, I want a refund of my property tax dollars that are used for education so I can make other arrangements.”

This one jumped right out at me! I made a career out of educating children. I think I did a good job of it. I gave the tax payers value for every cent of my pay. I was at work every morning by 7:00 AM and often did not get home until after 10:00 PM (or later). During those years I watched the lion's share of the budget go to Athletics, primarily Football. I like football but right now it should not even be on the radar as far as any degree of importance, and certainly not using any money.

Our schools opened last week with about 20% of the kids staying home for distance learning. I have three grandchildren in school right now and unlike their grandfather, the love it. They really like school and want to be there. My DIL is a teacher as well. WE have a vested interest in our school district and we pay school taxes in 6 different school districts.

I want the schools open, or I want my money back.

Alan
 

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“Teachers are essential workers. If you don’t open the schools, I want a refund of my property tax dollars that are used for education so I can make other arrangements.”

I agreed! If they are going to keep the schools closed, then, I want to have my share of the school budget that I pay trough my property taxes to be refunded to me so I can give the money to my daughter, who happens to be a teacher ( with 2 master degrees in education ), so she can quit her job and home school our 2 grandsons.
 

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I don't have kids and never have but I do feel that I benefit if the kids grow up with an education. But now, I'm on this bandwagon too. Give me my money back.

--Wag--
 

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I don't disagree with any of the above, but I have heard a different perspective that I give some credence to. I recently attended my county board of supervisors meeting to help introduce a 2A/RTKABA measure. But I sat through a presentation by the superintendent of our county school system talking about reopening the schools. I don't have school aged kids, so I have no dog in the fight.

Some of his major points:
  • He and the school board would have liked nothing better than to reopen the schools for live classes.
  • When they looked at at all the federal and state requirements, they realized there was absolutely no way to do it.
  • The social distancing requirements that were laid on them by law made bus transportation, classroom space and teacher availability impossible. They were not set up to keep as many students as they had as far apart as they were required to.
  • They had a lot of parents saying they would not send their kids back no matter what, and a lot of teachers who said they would not go back no matter what. A few could have been dealt with, but the numbers were too big to ignore. They realized they were going to have to do distance learning for those people. It was untenable to run two parallel systems, live and and distance.
  • They are actually having to spend more money by not having live classes. They have had to buy Chromebooks for every single student. They are having to create hotspots in areas where the internet service is bad. They have installed repeaters in school buses and have the buses parked in less populated areas. They are sending teachers to training to learn how to do distance teaching better. None of that was budgeted for.
  • The regulations about COVID for schools seem to change weekly. What they were really afraid of was reopening live and then having to close again mid-term.
I believed the guy when he said they made the only logical decision they could make.
 

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• “Teachers are essential workers. If you don’t open the schools, I want a refund of my property tax dollars that are used for education so I can make other arrangements.”

This one jumped right out at me! I made a career out of educating children. I think I did a good job of it. I gave the tax payers value for every cent of my pay. I was at work every morning by 7:00 AM and often did not get home until after 10:00 PM (or later). During those years I watched the lion's share of the budget go to Athletics, primarily Football. I like football but right now it should not even be on the radar as far as any degree of importance, and certainly not using any money.

Our schools opened last week with about 20% of the kids staying home for distance learning. I have three grandchildren in school right now and unlike their grandfather, the love it. They really like school and want to be there. My DIL is a teacher as well. WE have a vested interest in our school district and we pay school taxes in 6 different school districts.

I want the schools open, or I want my money back.

Alan
I spent some time as an elementary teacher as a new career - I agree with this:
If you don’t open the schools, I want a refund of my property tax dollars that are used for education so I can make other arrangements.”
If teachers aren't working then they should not be paid. I put in more off the clock time working on lesson plans (and enjoyed the challenge) but it wasn't athletics that turned me off, it was all of these ESE (Special Ed) counselors, administrators and others who put in minimum time, had none of the daily headaches, earned more money and didn't solve anything. This was all due to Fed unfunded mandates...........I left after a few years disillusioned and made sure my kids did not attend public school afterwards.
 
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What I want to know is where were all these parents who want choice when their school districts were introducing revisionist, socialist curricula? Now they are all upset they won't have teachers as babysitters, but they ought to be more concerned about what kind of little woke robots their kids are being turned into.
 

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I don't have kids and never have but I do feel that I benefit if the kids grow up with an education. But now, I'm on this bandwagon too. Give me my money back.

--Wag--
As long as such education is the one needed for the kid to be a productive individual in the work place, not the extreme left indoctrination, "awareness of white supremacy", "common core" and other idiotic ideas on education. We need to go back to the 3 Rs, and also teach our kids the actual history of this great country.

"If teachers aren't working then they should not be paid."

I so happens that my daughter is a teacher, and this pass weekend I had to go to her house to attempt to fix their internet access and set up a computer so she could do her teacher work via the Internet.
 

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Why wasn't the school district's IT folks doing that? Guess they are the first to go after the principals, vice principals ansd all those "special ed" asswipes
 

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Why wasn't the school district's IT folks doing that? Guess they are the first to go after the principals, vice principals ansd all those "special ed" asswipes
Of course! The "elites" must have their Internet and computers working, the people who do the actual works, simply have to wait..................................
 

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School here will be starting soon with modified type classes. Most places have kids going to school twice a week and staying home 3 days with some slight variations in different districts. My district is 2 days in, 3 at home. My tax bill should also come on Tuesday, it's one of the few things in life that i can count on being on time every time. With the modified school schedule i wonder if my tax bill will be modified as well? Less school supplies, less transportation and I'm sure there will be other costs lowered as well. Being this is NY i can almost guarantee my bill will be higher than last year which is the normal from year to year...
 
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