Do economists need a “Head Start”?

The Biden administration has taken credit for a relative return to normalcy in schools over the last year of the coronavirus pandemic. But in one of the few education programs the federal government directly oversees — Head Start preschools and child care centers for low-income families — mandatory masking rules are still on the books for teachers and children as young as 2-years-old.

That requirement is out of line with current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released last month, which recommend universal masking only if there is a high community transmission rate. The vast majority of schools and day care centers have made masks optional, even in the most virus-cautious regions on the country…

“Head Start programs have been short-circuited,” said Tommy Sheridan, deputy director of the National Head Start Association, a trade group. “This mandate on masking and vaccines has hurt a lot of programs. It is more of a crisis that is now feeling like a looming catastrophe.”

The NYT subheader reads: “Some of the nation’s poorest pre-K students are the last still under mask mandates, affecting enrollment.”

File under “Sentences to ponder”!

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