“Today’s findings from the National Center for Education Statistics show encouraging early progress in states and communities’ efforts to reopen schools safely and quickly. As of February, 76% of schools were open for full-time or hybrid learning. While schools continue to show us what’s possible as they work to open their doors and meet students’ needs, we know that we still have a lot of ground to go. Data from January show there were critical gaps in access to in-person instruction, particularly for communities of color and students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the Department of Education, we are committed to working with schools all across the country to get them reopened quickly and safely and to build confidence among families and educators. We owe it to our students – especially students in underserved communities and students with disabilities – to get all our schools opened safely and to meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of all students. Between the critical funds allocated from the American Rescue Plan and the bold initiatives this Department is putting forward, I am confident that we can bridge the gaps that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and build a better educational system for all of our students.”