Editorial: Parents deserve rebates for distance learning

Posted 4/3/20

Parents are integral to the success of Rhode Island’s distance learning programs, and they too should be recognized, and compensated, for their significant contributions.

Consider the impact …

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Editorial: Parents deserve rebates for distance learning

Posted

Parents are integral to the success of Rhode Island’s distance learning programs, and they too should be recognized, and compensated, for their significant contributions.

Consider the impact of this new reality on parents or caregivers. They are mostly homebound, possibly unemployed or facing pay reductions, and scrambling to support their home-schooling children.

They have set up home work spaces. Some have invested in desks or chairs or lighting, upgraded their internet service, or purchased wireless signal extenders (ranging from $200 to $500) to improve connectivity throughout the home. Their home printers are churning out school materials throughout the day. And they’re burning through electricity and heating demands that never existed back when life was “normal.”

So who’s going to compensate them for these new investments?

Local school districts should.

For as long as their buildings remain closed — and don’t most people expect this to last until the end of the school year? — these districts are saving money (or should be) on heat, electricity, water, busing, custodial services, supplies, teaching assistants, substitute teachers and meal services. Whatever those savings add up to, the full amount should be tallied, divided by the number of students, and sent to the homes where students are spending their days.

Parents mailed their property taxes to help pay for school buildings; under these circumstances, they are entitled to a rebate.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.