Opinion — Lockdowns not an option

Published 3:18 pm Monday, September 6, 2021

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The first results from Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in two years have been released, and they are disappointing. Said simply, the bottom fell out of passing rates in virtually all subject areas, with the worst impacts on those student groups who need the most help. The Northam administration has tried to put this in the best possible light, but there’s no excuse. Kids needed to be in school, and Democrats kept them out.

House Democrats need to own this disaster. Passing rates in math fell by 34% for all students. African American students saw math passage rates fall by 51%.

Only 12% of English learners passed the science test, resulting in a drop of nearly 70%.

Hispanic American students, low-income students and disabled students all saw massive fall offs in passage rates, especially in mathematics.

While the analysis is not yet complete, it appears that systems that had more in-person time did better, while those with more virtual time did worse.

This did not have to happen. Republicans tried to work with Democrats to open schools as early as March, but Democrats wouldn’t hear of it.

Republicans tried time and time again to get parents financial help to hire tutors and get other help for their students in the form of the READ Fund, but Democrats killed it time and time again.

Republicans even proposed a universal K-12 payment of $500 per child in our HB 7001 substitute. Democrats killed it.

Republicans will continue working to get students and parents the help they need, and we will fight any effort to lower standards or end advanced diplomas.

The Democratic power monopoly in Richmond and Washington has been a disaster. Democrats stood in the way.

Democrats have failed our children, and we can’t afford another two years of Democrat rule in Richmond.

New lockdowns are not an option. Period.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or (804) 698-1061.