As U.S. cities struggle to reopen schools amid lawsuits and union battles, large South American cities are beginning to reopen theirs.
On February 15th, public school students in Bogotá, Colombia will do something many students across the United States haven’t done since last March: step inside classrooms. Last week as Bogotá Mayor Claudia López announced public schools would reopen on February 15th, she noted that Bogotá’s young people are its “treasures” who have “sacrificed the most” during the pandemic:
Further south, in Argentina, the majority of provinces will reopen their schools on March 1st:
Education Minister Nicolás Trotta confirmed this week that no less than 17 provinces will be starting the school year on March 1, with the aim of making classroom presence “the rule.”
And Argentina’s capital and largest city — Buenos Aires — will reopen classrooms earlier on February 17th for most students.
Across the Andes, Chilean schools will reopen on March 1st with a mix of alternate day, hybrid, and normal instruction.
Public schools in São Paulo, Brazil — the largest city in the Western Hemisphere — are scheduled to reopen on Monday, having already partially reopened for optional tutoring and remediation in October, but the São Paulo State Teachers’ Union has announced a strike, which will likely delay reopening in the short-term. Nonetheless, city and state governments are committed to reopening schools and students in Brazil’s largest city will likely see classrooms before students in California’s biggest cities.
In California, San Francisco is suing its own school district in an attempt to reopen classrooms and Los Angeles Unified School District’s superintendent has defiantly labeled a potential lawsuit to reopen the city’s schools as a “grandstanding political stunt”: