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For the Common Good: Recommitting to Public Education in a Time of Crisis

As the world continues its fight against the coronavirus, the challenges of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders have highlighted the important role public schools play in our society. In addition to educating more than 90% of U.S. students, public schools also represent children's social community, childcare providers for parents and the venue for delivering social services and school meals to the students and families most in need. In the weeks ahead, state and local officials will have tough decisions to make regarding how to re-open the schools while protecting the health of their communities. At the same time, the pandemic economy is projected to result in a shortfall of state and local tax dollars, thus compounding the challenges faced by public schools as they seek to fulfill their vital mission.

As was said of some industries and banks during the 2008 recession, public schools are "too big to fail." It will take all of us -- parents, community members, teachers, state and school district leaders, local, state, and federal elected officials -- to ensure that public schools are ready for the challenges ahead. To this end, the Center on Education Policy has issued a new report, For the Common Good: Recommitting to Public Education in a Time of Crisis. This report focuses on why, in this time of upheaval and uncertainty, it is crucial to maintain a robust public education system. It also reiterates the reasons why we still need public schools, discussed in a previous CEP report. We hope that the new report will be used by educators, parents, and local leaders as they engage with their communities in discussions about their public schools and how to move forward during the pandemic.

We believe in the power of public education and the resilience of public schools to rise above any crisis. We hope you do too.

Working at national, state, and local levels, CEP achieves its mission by conducting research, convening meetings and events, and providing expert analyses of current education issues. CEP is nonpartisan and supports the work of many other education, business and civic groups.