disrupt

Learning pods are here to stay and could disrupt American education

That is what Kendra Newton is doing: The 24-year-old first-grade teacher resigned from her job with Orange County Public Schools in Florida after learning she would have to teach in-person this fall. She is moving across the country to Oregon, where she will lead a pod of eight students — for a higher salary than she earned in Florida.

“It gave me a way to feel safe working,” Newton said. “I will have guaranteed money coming in, and a stable idea of what my life will be like, because there won’t be a school district changing its mind every two seconds. For my mental health, it’s just a better option.”

No reliable data exists on how many teachers have left, or are considering leaving, their jobs to teach pods. But worried school officials are sending emails claiming that pods pose just as much of a health risk as returning to

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