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Don Salcedo

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

In my opinion, Gov. Mike Parson is making a mistake following President Donald Trump's requests and directives. Many individuals have noted the instability of Trump and his irrational actions and behavior, so I will not comment on that. Parson should follow the CDC guidelines and not follow the racist demagogue in the White House.

Opening schools in Missouri without providing the necessary resources and funds to provide a safe learning environment for students, teachers and other school employees is essential. As a former teacher, I have had a number of discussions with teachers around the state of Missouri and, without exception, they list all kinds of situations and exceptions that will make opening schools in the state difficult. About one-fifth of the school districts in the state cannot do much in the way of distance learning. Instead of Parson following Trump around like a political lapdog, he should consult with experts in the field of education regarding how and when to fill the classrooms in Missouri schools. Teachers and school employees should not have to risk their lives just to follow the political directives of Trump and Parson.

With more than 500 public school districts in Missouri, it has been estimated that for every 3,000 students in a school district, Missouri school districts will need at least $1 million of additional funding. Limited space does not allow me to list all of the necessary safety measures needed for a school district to provide a safe environment for our students and teachers.

Based on my experience, I know that some Missouri schools and superintendents seem to have a philosophy of "stack them deep and teach them cheap." I remember asking a school superintendent in Missouri why the school district just did not build a school for the purpose for which it was intended. Instead, they just built on extra classrooms to an old middle school building that was remodeled to accommodate primary students. I was told it is cheaper to build three walls instead of four. The custodians and support staff in schools have to incorporate the increased floor space to keep clean for students without any additional staff to help take care of the additional buildings and floor space.

In my opinion, schools in Missouri should not open without the necessary funds to provide a safe environment for children and teachers.

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