Concerns over school funding, coronavirus

It seems the president of the United States is willing to place the lives of our schoolchildren and teachers in jeopardy of the COVID-19 virus. His ongoing remarks to withhold federal funds if students don’t go back to school this fall has to make a person question if he really cares about children and teachers, or if his political future is more important. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who should represent our children, is not able to answer a yes-or-no question about agreeing or disagreeing if children should go back to school this fall.

Out of curiosity I contacted the Chippewa Falls school district to see how many dollars of federal funds could be at stake if Trump enacted his threat. For the past school year (2019-2020) it would have been $4.5 million. Yes, four million, five hundred thousand dollars. The federal money supports three main areas — school nutrition funds, special education funds and health and social services funds. This is about 7.3% of the total Chippewa Falls budget of $62 million. If these monies are really held back we, the local taxpayers, could be on the hook to cover those loses.

As a grandparent of four school kids and a parent of a local teacher, I now fear for what may be in the future. Do we choose funding over the safety of our kids and teachers?

Joel Sigel

Chippewa Falls