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Georgia Lifestyle

MAP MONDAY: Safest States for Schools to Reopen

#MapMonday: If you had to guess, what ranking do you think Georgia would pull in?

Is it safe to return to school? How will we know when it is safe to go back? What factors should be considered before a decision is made? There is much to consider when the CDC reports that the lack of in-person schooling can lead to decreases in academic progress -particularly in low-income districts, damage to mental health and social development, and less physical activity among students overall.

Schools across the nation have grappled with whether or not to open for face-to-face learning and how to operate once they do. Much of the decision making has come from trial and error and seeing what has worked in the few places that may have opened earlier. But have schools opened when it is safe to do so?

Personal financial website WalletHub recently examined the reopening of schools in each of the 50 states across 15 key metrics, including the number of child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, the average public-school class size, and the ratio of students to school nurses.

So which states did WalletHub find to be the safest in the nation? We take a look in this week’s Map Monday.

Source: WalletHub
WalletHub found that Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire were among the top 5 safest states while Mississippi ranked last, followed by South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee, respectively.
According to the study, the Peach State ranked 40th in the nation. Georgia scored a ’43’ rank for ‘Risk of COVID-19 infection’ and a ’28’ on the ‘Health & financial infrastructure’ ranking. (1 is the best, 50 is the worst)
Other key findings:
  • Vermont has the fewest child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, 140.60, which is 10.2 times fewer than in Tennessee, the state with the most at 1,430.60.
  • California has the lowest share of K-12 public school students transported through school transportation, 10.04 percent, which is 9.4 times lower than in Minnesota, the state with the highest at 94.26 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest pupil/teacher ratio, 10.50, which is 2.2 times lower than in Arizona, the state with the highest at 23.53.
  • North Dakota has the lowest share of seniors living with school-age children, 0.91 percent, which is 16.6 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at 15.12 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest share of children living in crowded housing, 5.00 percent, which is 6.4 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at 32.00 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest student-to-school nurse ratio, 323.30, which is 13.8 times lower than in Utah, the state with the highest at 4,474.52.
  • New York has the highest total current spending on elementary & secondary schools per pupil, $24,040, which is 3.2 times higher than in Utah, the state with the lowest at $7,628.

You can read the full report as well as the methodology here.

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