In today’s Wall Street Journal, Corey DeAngelis Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and Executive Director of the Education Freedom Institute, rebuffs the teacher union claim that it’s a lack of money that has kept most public schools closed almost a year after they were first shuttered last March due to coronavirus.

DeAngelis writes:

Our new analysis throws another wrench in the teachers union narrative. We examine data from more than 12,000 school districts nationwide, covering more than 90% of school-age children, and find no evidence to suggest that higher revenue or expenditures per student are associated with a higher probability of reopening schools for in-person learning.

Instead, we find that public school funding is either uncorrelated or even negatively correlated with in-person instruction. Some models suggest that schools that went fully remote were better off financially than their in-person counterparts in the same state.

These results hold across various analytic techniques and specifications that control for district size and a rich set of county-level demographics such as political tendencies, Covid-19 risk, household income, educational attainment, and race and age distributions.

Like other studies, ours didn’t find a consistent negative relationship between Covid-19 risk in the community and the probability of reopening in person. School reopening was strongly related, however, to county-level voting patterns in the 2016 election.

These findings are consistent with other research which highlights similar findings.  See here, here and here.

Teachers unions — including the North Carolina Teachers Association — continue to fleece taxpayers in the name of coronavirus.  Including the $1.9 trillion dollar bill recently passed by the Senate, government has approved almost $200 billion in new coronavirus relief funding for K-12 public schools. The Cares Act brought about $400 million to K-12 schools in North Carolina. More recently the General Assembly approved  another $1.6 billion in federal funding for Elementary and Secondary schools. In addition, the soon to be approved, America Rescue Plan is scheduled to bring another $3.8 billion to elementary and secondary schools in North Carolina.

Are our public schools closed because they lack resources to open?  It’s an assertion that lacks justification.