Washington ranks 47th state in the nation in opening public schools (while private schools have been safely open for months)

By LIV FINNE  | 
Feb 24, 2021
BLOG

Yesterday I checked the independent research site Burbio.com’s school reopening tracker to see how Washington compares to other states in opening public schools.  Private schools and most charter schools have been open since last fall.

Burbio has an “In Person Index for K-12 Public Schools.” This Index shows only 19.2 percent of Washington’s students are receiving in-person instruction. This puts Washington state in 47th place, nearly last, out of 50 states in opening classrooms to children. 

See for yourself:

State                    Percent of Students In Person

Iowa

100

Montana

100

Wyoming

100

Florida

99.9

Arkansas

96.8

Nebraska

94

North Dakota

92.4

Texas

90.8

Utah

90.2

South Carolina

87.6

South Dakota

85.2

Indiana

84.7

Georgia

84.6

Louisiana

84.4

Mississippi

81.2

Alabama

79.4

Vermont

79.2

Kansas

78.5

West Virginia

78.2

Colorado

77.1

Missouri

75.5

Tennessee

72.5

Idaho

70.6

Arizona

68.6

Oklahoma

67.5

Alaska

64.2

Rhode Island

61.7

Connecticut

59.6

Delaware

59.5

Michigan

57.8

New Hampshire

57.3

Minnesota

56.8

Ohio

55.7

North Carolina

52.6

Maine

50

Pennsylvania

49.4

New York

49

Wisconsin

48.4

Kentucky

47.7

Illinois

37.6

New Jersey

33.3

Massachusetts

31.4

Virginia

28.4

Nevada

23.4

Hawaii

23.1

New Mexico

21.3

Washington

19.2

Oregon

12.8

California

11.1

Maryland

9.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The state legislature has been in session for six weeks and taken no action. The state teachers union enjoys considerable power over the state senators and representatives since many were elected with generous donations from the union. The data shows states with the strongest teachers unions, like Washington, are blocking students from returning to school.

Senator Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island), Chair of the Senate Education Committee and a close union ally, has already killed SB 5037, a bill that would have opened public schools using health safety metrics.

Yesterday Senators Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver) and John Braun (R-Centralia) introduced SB 5464, which would require school districts to provide in-person instruction to students using safety guidelines.

My sources tell me Senator Wellman is likely to block SB 5464 from becoming law, just as she did with SB 5037.  Meanwhile, public school children and parents sit at home waiting for state lawmakers and the union to let their local school re-open.