The United States Is Reopening Many of the Wrong Schools

With coronavirus cases spiking in dozens of states, the prospect of anything resembling a normal school year is fading fast.

Schools can’t safely reopen if infections are exploding in the communities they serve.

But in regions where the pandemic appears to be under control, it is most important to get the youngest children back into school buildings, to stop the alarming slide in their learning. Older students, especially those in college, are better equipped to cope with the difficulties of online education.

That is the broad consensus among experts on back-to-school priorities. But, as things stand now, much of the United States is preparing to do exactly the opposite.

In many towns, college students are more likely than kindergartners to return to school for in-person instruction. An example is my home of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where schoolchildren will be learning completely online and university students will be attending at least

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United Negro College Fund President on How to Support Black Students in the Pandemic and Beyond

Since 2004, Dr. Michael Lomax has made bettering the lives of Black college students his mission. As the CEO of the United Negro College Fund, Lomax, 72, works to raise funds for those eager to pursue a college education at an HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) — an option that is just a dream for many who don’t have the means. As a proud graduate of Morehouse College, Lomax stresses the importance of educating the Black community and supporting its schools, aiming to not only give back to institutions like his alma mater but to preserve and grow their legacies. This is his story, as told to PEOPLE.

I’ve been at home in Atlanta since mid-March. I’m in a Black middle-class neighborhood inside the city, and in one sense, it just feels like a wonderful place to be, but then when you go out and get in your car

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