As we come up to the one-year anniversary of the initial shut down here in Michigan, there have been plenty of headlines around our education systems and the challenges the pandemic continues to bring. These three in particular served as food for thought:
- Pandemic compounds teacher burnout, prompting retirements. A shortage of teachers was a growing issue before COVID-19, but now it has accelerated quickly. Experienced educators are taking early retirements or simply quitting, and fewer bright young people are attracted to an increasingly difficult profession.
- Threats, recalls part of school board now. Much like our voting system, schools are dependent on engaged citizens who volunteer their time to give back to the community. It's widely known and accepted that serving on a school board is often a thankless job. But now it has become exceedingly stressful and potentially dangerous.
- As 83% of schools go back to the classroom, the most vulnerable kids are getting left behind. Getting kids back into classrooms is a universal goal. But it's not simple, and some students, parents, and schools are facing major obstacles.
To summarize: Education has become even more complex and difficult this past year. And all of us standing on the sidelines offering nothing but our opinions? Yeah, that ain't helping.
John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.