Schools need upgrades to make them safe from covid

It looks like we are going to see the issue of opening schools safely turn into an argument about unions. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. President Biden has repeatedly favored “high-paying union jobs.” Conservatives generally have espoused “right-to-work laws” that tend to suppress union activity.

I am a retired teacher with 42 years of experience. At one point I taught in a school constructed during the presidential term of Ulysses Grant. It was built for students who suffered from tuberculosis. Windows went from floor to ceiling and swung on hinges so as to be opened fully. Radiators were extra-large so there was enough heat in winter with the windows open. Health officials thought students needed fresh air all year. I was teaching in the building in the 1970s when crime dictated that the windows be screwed shut even though the radiators still fully functioned. By then tubercular pupils received different treatment and my students were healthy. Sometimes in January and February the temperatures in the room reached 130 degrees.

I mention this only to point out that our schools in this country represent our housing in terms of age and condition of repair. The Biden administration’s request for $160 billion in aid to open and operate schools safely seems to me reasonable. This is a pandemic. All schools will need help. Some more than others.

Mike Molly


Talk to us

More in Opinion

The 2022 Bolt EV, foreground, and EUV are displayed, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Milford, Mich. Whether people want them or not, automakers are rolling out multiple new electric vehicle models as the auto industry responds to stricter pollution regulations worldwide and calls to reduce emissions to fight climate change.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Editorial: Goal or mandate, encourage move to electric cars

Legislation has advanced to set a goal that new sales after 2030 be of electric vehicles only.

Comment: Minimum wage’s history shows link to economic growth

Since FDR’s New Deal, the minimum wage has spurred consumer spending and the economy.

Comment: Tired of talk about the n-word? Then don’t use it

White journalists should know there’s no place for it, and that there’s no defense for having used it.

Neighbors of seniors should offer help with vaccination

In his recent letter to the editor, Langdon Moore of Camano Island… Continue reading

Sutherland should walk back words on election, Jan. 6

It is hard work to respect a lawmaker that still believes that… Continue reading

Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee
Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Feb. 25

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Mobile phone personal data and cyber security threat concept. Cellphone fraud. Smartphone hacked with illegal spyware, ransomware or trojan software. Hacker doing online scam. Antivirus error.
Editorial: Adopt protections for internet users’ personal data

State legislation would offer consumers more control in how their information is used and sold.

The Lynnwood Link light rail extension breached the 25% milestone for construction in Mountlake Terrace shot on Wednesday December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Editorial: Cost increase can’t risk ST3’s ‘spine’ to Everett jobs

A $11.5 billion shortfall shouldn’t be used to justify cuts that would limit light rail service here.

Project Roxy is a proposed 2.8 million square foot distribution center that would be built on a 75-acre parcel at the Cascade Industrial Center. The rendering depicts the proposed project at 4620 172nd Street in Arlington from a northwest perspective.
Editorial: Update tax break for Cascade Industrial Center jobs

Legislation would allow the incentive to be offered again, while encouraging family-wage jobs.

Most Read