Civil rights attorney Wendy Lecker writes a regular column in the Stamford (CT) Advocate.

In this post, she points out that the pandemic has demonstrated how important public schools are in their communities.

As states closed public school systems, the nation at large saw the wide range of necessary services schools provide to students in addition to instruction. Public schools, serving 50 million students, also provide meals, health and social support essential to child welfare and development. School districts are now attempting to deliver instruction from a distance, but also to maintain the vital personal connection teachers and other staff provide, especially to their most vulnerable students. Teachers read bedtime stories online, tutor students from outside the students’ front doors and drive by students’ homes to check in. Counselors make themselves available through any electronic means possible.

That schools play a central role in the lives of children, families and communities should not be a revelation. In a country with a porous safety net, schools are often the only public community institution where children’s needs are served. Children must mitigate hunger, trauma and other life challenges in order to learn and thrive.

Question: Will legislatures remember and protect their public schools when the pandemic is over and give them the funding they need?