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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Parents get a new message: Slightly sick kids should be in class

Worried about a nationwide epidemic of absenteeism, more schools are telling parents to send slightly sick children to school, reports Bianca Vazquez Toness for Associated Press. The state of California wants children in class, even if they're coughing and sneezing, as long as they're not running a fever.

The Centers for Disease Control plans to relax its Covid isolation guidelines, following the lead of Oregon and California, reports Lena H. Sun in the Washington Post. Children and adults would no longer need to stay home for five days "if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medication and their symptoms are mild and improving."

Attendance Works, a national nonprofit, urges "parents to send kids to school if they can participate in daily activities," Sun writes.

During the pandemic, parents were told that classrooms are unhealthy, no risk is justified and kids can learn just as well at home. Now, it's Emily Litella time: Never mind.

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David Pittelli
David Pittelli
Mar 01

To be fair, it was entirely reasonable to keep sick kids home for 5 days in 2020, and yet also reasonable to now go back to pre-2020 norms for letting kids recovering from mild illness attend class.


Feb 17

Why do I suspect this whole slightly sick policy is not motivated by the welfare of the students, but by the welfare of the school district's budget?

Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
Feb 18
Replying to

In most cases, school funding is based on average daily attendance -- not on enrollment. Absenteeism is costly to the school. And it makes it harder for teachers to teach and students to learn.

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