EXCLUSIVE – Two conservative learning groups are taking aim at two Democratic-controlled states – New Jersey and Virginia – urging that schools in those states immediately reopen for five-day-a-week, in-person learning.
The State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF) and N2 America are teaming up to launch digital ads in both states as part of their ongoing six-figure “Let Kids Learn” ad campaign.
“How is it possible that some kids haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in over a year, while other school districts have opened safely?” asks the narrator in the commercial, which was shared first with Fox News.
The narrator charges that “while students in conservative states are thriving, students in liberal states will continue to suffer irreparable academic and emotional harm. Democrats and unions have kept students out of school long enough. Fully reopen schools now.”
As of earlier this month, the majority of New Jersey schools were using a hybrid model of both in-person and remote instruction, with only a minority of schools conducting fully in-person instruction. Gov. Phil Murphy has called for full-time, in-person, instruction for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
Less than a third of schools in Virginia were at the beginning of April offering full-time, in-person instruction. Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill into law three weeks ago that requires districts to offer full-time, in-person learning by July 1.
SGLF Executive Director Dee Duncan emphasized that “the evidence is clear — school closures are resulting in decreased academic achievement, a lack of physical activity, and increasing mental health issues.”
And N2 America co-founder Liesl Hickey charged that “the school debate has exposed the unions for what they are most interested in: power and control. Not kids. Not education. Parents have felt this impact directly and they know where the blame lies.”
President Biden – during his first news conference as president last month – said his administration was on track to keep a pledge he made to reopen the majority of elementary and middle schools for full-time, in-person learning within the first 100 days of his administration.
The president’s secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, has predicted that schools should be 100% reopened by the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.