US Rep Jahana Hayes shared footage today of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Hearing in which she blamed "decades of disinvestment" in education for why so many students are struggling with learning challenges. She further said that blaming covid-related school closures for the learning challenges was "woefully inaccurate."
However, as it turns out, data collected by The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals a steady increase in expenditure per pupil (compared in constant 2021-2022 dollars) from 1919-1920 through 2019-2020.
School watchdog Corey DeAngelis immediately called out Hayes for the disinvestment lie. In fact, he even previously challenged the Washington Post for making the same false accusation about disinvestment a few years ago. WaPo was forced to issue a correction, acknowledging that education funding at the federal, state, and local levels had actually increased over the last four decades.
Of course, most people realize that prolonged school closures, combined with cruel and unscientific masking and social distancing rules and other pandemic-related policies, absolutely did create significant learning challenges for many children.
The Brookings Institute published an article that detailed devastating impacts that school closures and other pandemic-related issues had on learning. Math and reading test scores dropped across the board. Test-score gaps between students in low-poverty and high-poverty elementary schools grew by nearly 20% in math and 15% in reading. The data also reveal that these learning disruptions have continued to negatively impact students well past the initial hits in spring 2020.
"We don't need Brookings data to tell us that if kids are not in school, they will not learn. But we also know if kids are dead, they don't learn," said Hayes, who could not pass up the opportunity to spread the covid fear narrative once again.