Duval County

Duval education impacted by COVID — White House looking for solutions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two to three years of childhood early education has now been impacted by COVID-19, and some leaders here in Jacksonville say we need to be moving now to get ahead of the issue.

“We don’t want to be here in two years having the same discussion, so the consequences of us not doing this with the level of rigor and consistency that we need… sticks with us.”

LINK: Where to get a COVID-19 test in the Jacksonville area

The pandemic has impacted every aspect of life. Today, a COVID-19 response White House task force met in Jacksonville to focus on a few, including childhood education.

“We are then you go to the virtual instruction and then the nutrition and the mental health… it will be long lasting that we will see the effects that early childhood education of this covid era will have on our children and families.”

Those in the industry here in Jacksonville say when a child is put into virtual school they lose out on quality of education, social development and in some cases proper nutrition. State leaders are worried it will impact children’s development.

“It’s depression. It’s depression that our communities are going to have to suffer through. it’s going to be an emotional depression, it’s going to be a physical depression, it’s going to be a mental depression,” says Florida Representative Tracie Davis.

STORY: State threatens to withhold school funds over mask mandate

Parents I spoke to say they are keeping their kids out of school to avoid the issue entirely.

“We’ve done what we could, we’ve sort of had to keep everything in house, we can really only ask friends and family otherwise we’d have to get shots or wear a mask or something like that.”