Jill Biden to visit Utah school as US moves toward reopening

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — First girl Jill Biden plans to communicate at a Salt Lake City school Wednesday as the U.S. makes uneven progress toward reopening school rooms through the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, a instructor herself, is visiting Glendale Middle School, which has a various scholar physique and returned to in-person instruction a couple of months in the past. The cease is a part of a swing by means of the U.S. West that additionally consists of Nevada and Colorado.

The visit comes shortly after President Joe Biden’s self-imposed deadline to reopen most U.S. elementary faculties in his first 100 days. The school-tracking website Burbio discovered 62% of colleges had been providing in-person studying every single day by then, although it wasn’t clear what number of had been elementary faculties.

But a Biden administration survey of U.S. faculties final month discovered placing variations in how college students of various races and ethnicities had been studying. Among fourth-graders, greater than half of white college students had been being taught totally in particular person. By distinction, lower than a 3rd of Black and Hispanic fourth-graders had been again in school rooms full time, together with simply 15% of Asian college students.

The disparities have raised alarms amongst advocates who fear the pandemic is worsening racial inequities in training. Debate additionally persists nationwide on how faculties can reopen safely.

In conservative Utah, most faculties reopened totally within the fall with precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing. Those in hard-hit Salt Lake City, although, stayed distant into February. The district’s school board agreed to reopen after the state turned one of many first within the nation to prioritize lecturers for vaccines. Vaccinations had been a sticking level as discussions with lecturers hit a stalemate in January in a number of the nation’s largest school districts in locations like California and Chicago.

At Glendale Middle, 65% of scholars are Hispanic, 12% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 6% are Asian, in accordance to the National Center for Education Statistics. The space additionally has a big refugee group, and a majority of scholars qualify free of charge and reduced-price lunch.

Student grades dropped in Salt Lake City whereas all studying was performed remotely however have improved since reopening for in-person courses, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. At Glendale Middle, half of scholars nonetheless acquired not less than one F through the third quarter, however that was down from 61% within the first quarter, the paper discovered.


Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points.

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