BOSTON (SHNS) – Nearly three dozen lawmakers urged the Baker administration to prioritize schools in low-income areas for COVID vaccines and a new pool testing system, arguing that students in those districts have been particularly disrupted by remote learning and need help returning to classrooms as soon as possible.
Early education and K-12 workers will qualify for vaccines partway into the second phase of the Baker administration’s rollout plan, tentatively scheduled to take place between February and April, and the 35 lawmakers who wrote to Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday want some schools to move toward the front of that line.
“While remote learning has changed life for every student and family, it is evident that the consequences and negative effects are disproportionately felt in low-income districts,” the lawmakers wrote. “As you know, the challenges of technology, child-care, language barriers and more have made remote learning incredibly difficult across these districts. Furthermore, the workforce in low-income school districts have been most exposed to the virus, providing yet another public health driven reason to prioritize these communities.”
The Baker administration has pushed for months for schools to bring students back to in-person learning as much as is safely possible, and last week, officials announced a new system to provide pool testing for students and staff in schools.