I knew it could not last forever. I knew that, eventually, conservative deficit scolds would grow squeamish about all the money being printed to support our nation in this amazingly challenging time.
Right on cue, speaking about federal assistance to cities, states and working people hurt by the pandemic, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell started clucking about “borrowing money from future generations.”
Mitch was silent over the last three years as he helped our Dear Leader decimate tax collections and explode the deficit to the benefit of the rich. He held his tongue when the first CARES Act was passed, with a slush fund for big businesses intact. But now he’s concerned. We know why that is.
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With public employees, there are no exploiters to syphon money off the top and redirect it back to the Republican Party. And Mitch never wants a working woman or man to have too much power or be on too solid of a foundation.
We can only hope the dupes who support him in Kentucky will finally see that he offers them nothing in return for their votes.
Don Anderson, Oak Park
Remote learning will become permanent tool
I vividly remember the day in 1988 when a woman walked into an elementary school in Winnetka and shot multiple second grade students. I was not in that school. I was an eighth grader about 10 miles away in Park Ridge.
Schools were forever changed that day. From then on, external doors were locked and visitors were required to wear badges. To this day, the doors at your school are locked.
I vividly remember 9/11. I was not in New York City. I was a third-grade teacher in Morton Grove.
Schools were forever changed that day, too. Teachers were given training on how to best support the social and emotional well-being of students. Mental health became a priority for schools everywhere. To this day, your school has programs in place to help meet the social-emotional needs of children.
And years from now, as a parent of fifth and eighth graders, I vividly will remember the day that a global pandemic shut down schools in Illinois and across the country.
Schools again will be forever changed.
We have learned from this experience that many children depend on schools for their meals, and an enormous number of students don’t have access at home to the internet or computers or tablets. We have learned that teachers and students must use a hodgepodge of technology to participate in remote learning.
COVID-19 will change the ways schools operate. Systems will be put in place to make the distribution of meals more efficient. Policies will be implemented to ensure that each student has access to a computer and the internet. Remote learning no longer will be a fire drill, but integrated into teacher training and daily practice.
My assumption is that school leaders across the country will spend a good portion of the summer reflecting on how the overnight shift to remote learning impacted their school communities. Like educators always do, they will keep the needs of students first and foremost. Then, they will consider how to ensure that the important work that is done by teachers every day can continue when faced with a school closure in the future.
Keith Westman, chief operation officer of Otus, a Chicago-based education technology company
Trump’s selective outrage
I find it interesting that our president first shouts out to “liberate” states that are led by Democratic governors or are swing states, stoking the controversy over stay-at-home orders. He does this, supposedly, in the name of restarting the economy.
But when the Republican governor of Georgia wants to quick-start its economy by ending stay-at-home orders in a structured way, he derides the governor for ignoring science and acting too quickly. And then he says the whole matter is entirely up to the governor,relinquishing himself of all blame should COVID-19 cases spike.
In the end, President Trump is putting at risk states that tend to vote Democratic while promoting safety for states that tend to vote Republican.
John Farrell. DeKalb