MMSD return to in-person learning draws mixed reactions

Amid vaccine delays and the spread of new COVID-19 variants, parents and teachers have mixed reactions to the announcement that Madison Metropolitan School District will resume in-person instruction for grades 4k-2 starting this week. Our Courtney Degen spoke with several parents and teachers for their reactions, and heard many concerns on the complex issue.

Education for children without homes is hard enough; COVID is making it worse

Access to quality education is at risk for housing-insecure children in Madison as their families face the economic blowback of COVID-19 and the end of an eviction moratorium looms. 

Governor Evers announced a $30 million CARES Act fund on Sept. 3, which directs $25 million towards the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program. The next day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a national eviction moratorium in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, come Dec. 31, families will be to pay their accumulated rent. If they are unable to do so, they will be evicted, putting children’s access to quality remote learning at risk.

Black leaders express joy, hope in new superintendent

A virtual reception hosted by local Black leaders to welcome Carlton Jenkins as the new superintendent of Madison schools was filled with overwhelming excitement and deep sense of hope, as Jenkins said his move to Madison to address educational disparities is his contribution to the movement inspired by the death of George Floyd.