Inequity, safety concerns exacerbated by the pandemic

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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Many families and educators across the state of Maryland are deeply concerned about distance learning and school funding.

A poll recently conducted by the Maryland State Education Association shows that distance learning poses many challenges for teachers and families and that there is widespread recognition and support for increased school funding to address old and new inequities.

According to the poll, 80% percent of educators are seriously concerned about student motivation, participation, internet access, and mental health. 70% of parents report serious concerns about their students missing their peers, their teachers, and their extracurricular activities. Officials say these were existing problems that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Our schools are inadequately funded and that was the impedance of bringing together the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future was our schools were underfunded and not meeting the needs of all students,” said Cheryl Bost, president of the MSEA. “We continue to be underfunded not meeting the needs of all students and that’s only been exacerbated during the school closure when students now have no link to schooling.”

Reports also showed that nearly 40% of teachers and students don’t have proper internet access, which makes distance learning in a digital age nearly impossible.

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