Op-Ed: Congress Needs to Finish Job, Help Nation Rebuild Crumbling Schools
July 15, 2020
As New Jersey plans to reopen its schools this fall, it’s an ugly yet open secret that while this state has one of the best public school systems in the nation, deep veins of inequity run through it, and too many Black and Latino students are still getting a raw deal.
Nowhere is this savage inequality more obvious than in the physical condition of the brick-and-mortar school buildings we are likely sending kids and teachers back to this fall. The simple fact is that if you’re a Black or Latino student in New Jersey, your school is more likely to be overcrowded and in need of repair or replacement than if you were a white student. This is true at precisely the time we need more space for COVID-related social-distancing policies, especially in the Black and Latino communities hit hardest by this virus.
This inequity is wrong — especially in a state that bills itself as “progressive,” while a growing body of scientific evidence indicates that investments in school-building improvements can lead to better student outcomes.