According to new data released by a San Francisco school district, low-income students have fallen further behind than higher-income students during the coronavirus pandemic.
Black, Latino and Asian students in San Francisco as well as students from low-income families have lost significant academic ground compared to wealthier and white students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The study also found that Black and Latino students were more likely to be absent at least 60% of the time during the fall semester.
910 of the district’s 53,000 students missed more than 60% of classes, the district said. 70% of those were from low-income families and 75% were Black or Latino.
“There are so many kids in this pandemic who just haven’t been heard from at all,” UCSF director of COVID response Dr. Jeanne Noble said to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Nobel added that reopening schools is critical and can be done safely. “Every place you look — signs of social phobia and isolation all the way up to suicide attempts — screams crisis.”
The school district is working hard to reopen its doors to all students, but the district has yet to reach an agreement with labor unions on the conditions required to reopen. They hope to bring the youngest and most vulnerable students back first, after the health department inspects the school and classrooms.
“We are concerned the gap has widened, especially in elementary schools,” San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said. “We know remote doesn’t replace in person when it comes to serving our students. We want to return to (school) sites as quickly as possible.”
The district recently announced that it is unlikely the vast majority of middle and high school students will return this school year.
San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen has proposed a plan to help address the learning loss and other impacts of the pandemic on children.
Her plan includes raising upward of $2 million from public and private funding to pay for summer school, tutoring, smaller class sizes or any resources needed.
The school district’s data is “devastating, and it’s a call to action,” she said. “We are failing them right now as a society. This is families of color having the least secure housing, the least secure jobs. If you’re a parent and you’re worried about keeping a roof over the head of your child and putting food on the table, that’s going to take precedent over remote learning.”
“Let’s all wake up and stop pointing fingers at each other and start working together to address this head-on.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation
In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.
The charges against Hunter Biden include:
• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm
• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer
•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance
According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.
Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.
The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.
Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.
Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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