Florida’s Schools Were The Safest Place For Kids During The Pandemic
Bottom Line: Florida’s recent summer surge in COVID cases is creating renewed nervousness among Florida’s education establishment. To mask or not to mask. To distance desks or not to distance desks these remain the questions. While plans are being put into place to head back to classrooms this fall, it’s instructive to see how Florida fared with keeping COVID-19 out of the classroom. In the state’s final reporting on COVID-19 in the classroom here’s what happened last school year.
Cases attributed to attending school:
- 91,047 students
- 8,291 teachers
- 5,521 support staff
What’s that mean in context? Approximately 2.4 million Florida students attended classroom education last year. That means the infection rate was 3.7% for students. How does that compare to those not in the classroom? Florida’s infection rate for minors outside the classroom was 5.4%. Not to get to bogged down into numbers, however kids were almost shockingly 46% less likely to contract COVID-19 inside the classroom as opposed to being outside of them last year. Not only were Florida’s schools safe for students, but they were also demonstrably the safest place for students. All of this is to say a few things. First, the protocols put in place to keep students and faculty safe weren’t good. They were great. Second, it’s almost stunning how wrong Florida’s teachers and their unions were to oppose classroom education (status quo for teachers unions). Ironically the foolish teachers protesting classroom education and suing to attempt to prevent it were safer for having had it. Third, this should be the context under which classroom education is considered for the upcoming school year. Variants, no variants, thousands of new daily cases or hundreds, classroom education isn’t just safe. It’s overwhelmingly the safest option.