A debate in the Philly suburbs on bringing more students back to classrooms is ‘as political as the presidential election’

By Maddie Hanna, The Philadelphia Inquirer | February 12, 2021

Former Stoneleigh Fellow and Board Member David Rubin spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer about the debate to return students to classrooms in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. 

One night in late January, parent Monica Zeitz stood before the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board and read a petition signed by 331 people asking to fully reopen the district’s schools.

“We will definitely begin that conversation,” responded David Grande, the board’s president, who announced earlier in the meeting that the district would consider a plan to bring elementary students back to school five days a week.

Since then, debate has erupted over the district’s proposal. Parents circulated petitions calling on the board to delay a vote, alarmed by the prospect of adding more children to classrooms before vaccines are widely available. Teachers signed another. Heated posts made the rounds on social media. One woman said neighbors stopped her on the street, trying to change her opinion.

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