The Schools That Cried ‘Wolf’

Los Angeles public school system teachers hold a rally at City Hall after going on strike in Los Angeles, Calif., January 14, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Given how familiar schools’ complaints about underfunding are, it’s difficult to take at face value the coronavirus catalogue of demands.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T hose charged with running America’s schools have been demanding massive new outlays from state and federal officials. In no uncertain terms, they’ve suggested that they’re ready to keep schools shuttered if lawmakers don’t pony up. In California, state superintendent Tony Thurmond insisted that “school districts can’t reopen safely” if budgets are cut. The superintendents of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and other school districts co-authored a letter to California lawmakers threatening that any “cuts will mean” keeping schools closed even after “clearance from public health officials is given.”

In late April, superintendents of 62 big school districts wrote Congress to

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