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The Biden-Harris Ticket, and Different Reopening Plans Across the State Emerge

This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: The Biden-Harris Ticket, and Different Reopening Plans Across the State Emerge.

Big Week for Biden and Harris

Yesterday, Joe Biden announced that Senator Kamala Harris would be his Vice Presidential running mate for the 2020 General Election. She will be the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party, and only the fourth woman to ever be chosen for a presidential ballot. In a press statement, our National President, Shavar Jeffries, noted that her leadership will bring "hope for an America where, someday, every child will be able to grow up to be whatever they dream."

And based on polling released this week by our national affiliate, Education Reform Now Advocacy, and HIT Strategies, the chances look good for the Biden-Harris ticket with Southern voters. In the poll released Monday, Biden leads President Donald Trump by ten percentage points in North Carolina and 4 percentage points in Georgia. However, among the two states' African American voters, Biden leads by a commanding 66 percentage points. In the South, it appears that Americans are ready for a change. But Democrats should not take these numbers for granted. History tells us that the margins can and will narrow as we approach Election Day. And we know Donald Trump is doing everything he can to suppress turnout.

Different Routes to Reopening

As school boards, superintendents, leadership, and parents make arrangements for students to return to learning, we are seeing many different paths and plans emerge.

Last week, the Lamont administration offered local school districts leeway when it gave them the authority to choose how to reopen in the fall: either with full in-person learning, or with a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. However, the New Haven school board voted a week ago in favor of an "all remote learning plan" for the reopening of the school year in one of the state’s largest school districts. Superintendent Tracey had proposed a hybrid model, but board member discussions led to a vote on a model that will exclude in-person learning altogether. Mayor Justin Elicker voted against the all-remote plan, which will now be taken to an exception review panel with the state. Asked about New Haven’s request in a press conference held at Winchester Public Schools yesterday, Governor Lamont offered that he believes New Haven students “ought to have an in person option” but reiterated that he doesn’t intend to impose his preference over local authorities.

On the other hand, in today’s Hartford Courant, Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney showed leadership in an op-ed presenting her decision to reopen the campus this fall for students. Citing equity and the importance of community, she said, “In-person learning is our greatest opportunity to ensure equitable access to the full Trinity experience—the transformative combination of classroom, residential and experiential learning along with academic support, and mental health and wellness care.”

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