School Closings: Public Health Response to COVID-19 Explained by Experts

With the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact being felt in every area of American life, it is more important than ever to provide rigorous research to inform reporting on this crisis. To meet this growing need, Scholars Strategy Network has compiled a list of scholars who are available to be contacted for comments and analysis. Below are the scholars who can comment on how public health measures, such as the closing of schools and businesses, affect children and families.

You can connect with all researchers available to comment on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

University of South Florida

"We are under a lot of pressure because, on one hand, as public leaders, we do our neighborly part to address this deadly and serious pandemic, but we too have a civic obligation to educate in these stark realities. For me, this is not only about the action steps involved in public closure policies, but, as more educators and children are becoming infected, destressing is critical because it's draining on me to stay calm while helping others stay calm too."

University of Wisconsin-Madison

"K-12 cafeteria workers across the country are busy figuring out new ways to feed kids safely with schools closed due to COVID-19--from drive-up curbside service to home deliveries via school busses--yet they earn such low wages that roughly one-third participate in at least one federal program designed to reduce child and family poverty. They deserve to take home a living wage and have health and retirement benefits in exchange for the vital work they do feeding and caring for the nation's children."

"Berea College made the right choice to shut down its campus and did so in a way that didn’t leave its students in a lurch. Financially supporting the students in every way it could, it signals there is a right way and a wrong way to lead. This wasn’t about positive PR for the college; it was morally right and socially-just leadership."

University of Florida

“The number of recent school closings potentially raises equity issues with regard to how different groups of students, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, will be impacted by this disruption in their formal education.”

University of Texas – Houston

"I have studied the factors leading to individuals experiencing food insecurity and how food insecurity impacts physical and mental health of parents and their children. This area of research has resulted in me studying the impact of poverty and policies designed to reduce poverty (e.g., National School Lunch Program, SNAP). With schools closing and work hours for hourly-wage jobs being reduced as an effort to contain coronavirus, this will impact the ability of families to access and afford food."