To identify which states have the safest conditions for reopening schools, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 15 key metrics. Their data set includes such things as the number of child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, the average public-school class size, and the ratio of students to school nurses. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
School Reopening Safety in South Carolina (1=Safest, 25=Avg.):
- 46th – Child COVID-19 Cases per 100,000 Children
- 35th – Child COVID-19 Deaths per 100,000 Children
- 40th – COVID-19 Cases in the Last Seven Days per 100,000 Residents
- 19th – Share of K-12 Public School Students Transported Through School Transportation
- 22nd – Average Public-School Class Size
- 24th – Pupil-Teacher Ratio
- 29th – Share of Seniors Living with School-Age Children
- 21st – Share of Children Living in Crowded Housing
- 15th – Student-to-School-Nurse Ratio
To view the full report and your state’s rank, click here.
Q&A with WalletHub
Why is in-person schooling so important for the economy?
“In-person schooling is vital for the economy because it both provides temporary supervision for children during the day and most importantly helps students have a better chance of achieving future economic success. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the most immediate concern is that when a child has to stay home to do online schooling, one parent will need to also stay home if the child is not old enough to be left alone. This puts a particularly high burden on single parents who can’t work from home, who may not be able to earn a living while their child remains home,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “In the long term, studies show that in-person schooling provides more effective learning for students, in addition to better social development and mental health, compared to online learning. Students who get instruction in the classroom therefore may have better economic futures. Of course, we should put everyone’s safety first, and only open schools in a safe way.”
How can schools that are conducting online learning support low-income students with fewer resources at home?
“Schools that are conducting online learning have a responsibility to make sure low-income students have access to the same resources as their peers, including reliable devices and Wi-Fi. School districts should provide laptops to students who cannot afford them, as well as set up Wi-Fi hotspots that ensure all students have constant internet access,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Low-income students may also need free lunches each day, and parents should contact their school or visit the USDA website to see where they can pick up those meals while schools remain closed.”