At a time when schools are closing to reduce exposure to the coronavirus, school and community leaders must consider the consequences for students who live in low-income families.

For many, the school is the only place these children are certain to get a meal. Plan to distribute meals to homes in need.

A more pressing problem is the impact on low-wage workers who must stay home to take care of their children and will have no income.

How will they pay their rent if they do not get paid leave?

How will they pay for basic necessities?

Communities should insist that employers offer paid leave to parents who are required to stay home to take care of their children who are not in school.

These plans are essential in large cities and especially difficult because of the numbers of students involved.

But as a society, we cannot allow families and children to suffer because of school closures intended to protect their health.

We must make sure that we protect their well-being while they are home-bound.