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Families of color face a lose-lose dilemma on reopening schools

Reproduced from KFF Health Tracking Poll; Note: Share includes responses for "very/somewhat worried", income is household income; Chart: Axios Visuals

Children of color have the most to lose if schools remain physically closed in the fall. Their families also have the most to lose if schools reopen.

Why it matters: The child care crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic is horrible for parents regardless of their race or income, but Black and Latino communities are bearing the heaviest burden.


The big picture: Racial inequality is a defining feature of the pandemic, both in terms of its health impact and its economic effect. This is no less true when it comes to education.

  • Children of color are more likely to fall behind the longer they stay home from school, partially because of limited access to virtual education.
  • Parents of color are also more worried than white parents about losing the other benefits that schools provide, like social services and food, according to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Only 9% of white parents are worried about their children having enough to eat at home if schools remain closed, compared to 44% of parents of color.
Reproduced from KFF Health Tracking Poll; Note: Share includes responses for "very/somewhat worried", income is household income; Chart: Axios Visuals

Parents of color are also more worried about the health risks — to teachers, their children and their families — of reopening schools for in-person learning. They were significantly more likely than white parents to say that schools should reopen later rather than sooner, per KFF.

  • These fears aren't unwarranted. Black and Latino Americans are much more likely than white Americans to be hospitalized or die from the coronavirus, especially younger adults — the demographic that has school-age children.
  • Community spread is also harder to control in these communities, as people of color are disproportionately essential workers. Multigenerational households are also more common.
  • Creative schooling solutions — like "pandemic pods" — may be out of reach for many of these parents, either because of affordability issues or because of other parents' fears about "podding" with the children of essential workers.

Between the lines: Some fears vary starkly based on income, while others are universal.

  • Most parents, regardless of their race or income, are worried about their children falling behind on emotional and social development if their children don't return to in-person school.
  • Lower-income households are much more worried that higher-income households about losing income if they are unable to work outside the home, should schools remain closed. Income is also a factor in concerns about social services and food availability, as well as access to technology needed for virtual learning.

Go deeper: Parents turn to "pods" as a coronavirus schooling solution

In photos: Fortified capitols see only small protests

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The big picture: Some rallies attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as officials took security steps to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, per AP.

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Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December pardon spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

  • Those set to be pardoned before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice and people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

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This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
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Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

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A flood of convicted criminals has retained lobbyists since November’s presidential election to press President Trump for pardons or commutations before he leaves office.

What we're hearing: Among them is Nickie Lum Davis, a Hawaii woman who pleaded guilty last year to abetting an illicit foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of fugitive Malaysian businessman Jho Low. Trump confidante Matt Schlapp also is seeking a pardon for a former biopharmaceutical executive convicted of fraud less than two months ago.

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