Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Biden’s education plan looks great, but actions speak louder than words

Online learning must continue until schools have the resources to reopen safely. Screening and PPE are amongst essential items. Photo credit: unsplash.com

Now more than ever, American children can’t afford for President Joe Biden’s administration to forget them. The effects of COVID-19 have taken a toll on virtually every aspect of our nation and society, and the education system is no exception.

As schools shut down and converted to online learning, children were left out in the cold with the burden falling on their families.

In Biden’s first week in office, he has proposed a national plan to combat the pandemic. Formally known as the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, goal five focuses on safely reopening schools, business, and travel while protecting workers.

According to the plan, Biden’s administration has committed to ensuring that students and educators are able to resume safe, in person learning as quickly as possible. To help with this initiative, the plan calls for billions in funding to K-8 schools, child care providers and colleges.

Biden’s efforts are definitely long overdue as former President Trump’s administration failed to move forward with a plan of this magnitude and many feel a breath of fresh air with the proposal.

While there is cause for optimism, it is imperative that the plan is implemented, enforced and that the government ensures kids receive the help they desperately need sooner rather than later.

It’s important to remember that most areas, such as Los Angeles County, are still in the midst of a major crisis.

In this county alone, COVID-19 cases are nearing 1.1 million with over 15,000 deaths, and regional ICU capacity is still at 0%. LA County Department of Health officials are saying that daily cases and hospitalizations are decreasing, but the vaccine rollout is slow.

Online and remote learning, unpopular as it may be, must continue until cases and hospitalizations decrease more substantially. Until then, it is crucial that school districts have the funding to provide for their students, staff and teachers until schools can safely reopen.

That also means funding for PPE, daily screening, more busses and more teachers to decrease class sizes and ensure students can follow social distancing guidelines.

There’s also a need for counselors to address students’ social and emotional needs. With the funds proposed in Biden’s national plan, the schools can make these adjustments and reopening becomes a safer and more tangible process.

Due to the shutting down of schools children and families have suffered tremendously mentally, physically and financially.

The mental health of children has been affected drastically by no longer being able to play, grow, behave or interact emotionally with other children. Children suffering from depression, anxiety, mood disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been the ones to suffer the most.

Since the pandemic started roughly 143 countries have shut down their schools and about 15% of children and adolescents world wide have mental disorders.

With the funding that President Biden plans to give schools, it is crucial that funding is used to add more mental health programs and add more mental health counselors accessible to the students.

This will be helpful to all students, not just the ones with mental disorders but students who need someone to talk to in regards to the unfortunate events that came along COVID-19.

“Children exposed to stressors such as separation through isolation from their families and friends, seeing or being aware of critically ill members affected with Coronavirus, or the passing of loved ones or even thinking of their own death from the virus can cause them to develop anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and other mental illnesses” said psychiatrist Kaushal Shah, M.D.

The funding provided by President Biden can also alleviate the need for parents to rely on school programs, such as special education programs, tutoring, after school activities or food stamps provided by the schools.

Many parents relied on their children being taught properly as they may not have finished school themselves and feel like their children are not learning and growing academically as they would at school.

Providing enough funding that will allow for children to have more assistance with their academic work will not only help children’s education outcomes but also assist parents that are already working as hard as they can to provide for and help their children learn remotely.

For parents having their children in school, knowing they are being properly taken care of, well nourished and taught while they might be the only working parent in their household is soothing their mental health needs as well.

The 81 million Americans who voted for Biden expect a major change from the prior administration. This pandemic needs to be taken seriously and help must come to those who need it most.

Biden’s national strategy needs to go beyond proposals and become action. Majorities in the House and Senate bolster his chances at passing this stimulus and the president must stand firm on his policy.

Our children and the future of America depend on it.

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About the Contributors
Daniel Suarez Jr., Managing Editor
Emily Melgar, Opinion Editor
Emily Melgar is a Journalism major at Cerritos College and has recently become Opinion Editor for the college’s newspaper, Talon Marks. She plans to transfer to California State University, Fullerton or University of California, Irvine in Fall 2021 and hopes to pursue her Bachelor’s. In addition to writing, she is passionate about photography, travel, poetry, and science. Emily hopes to combine all these passions into a career one day.
Janet Chavarria, Staff Writer
Janet Chavarria, is currently in her last semester at Cerritos, before transferring to Cal State Fullerton to continue to work on her journalism major if all goes well. In her free time, she loves to go on hikes, ride motorcycles with her friends, try new foods and spend time cooking and baking with her grandmother. She is also an avid sports fanatic for all of LA teams and hopes to be a sports anchor or announcer one day.
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Biden’s education plan looks great, but actions speak louder than words