New Study Finds School Closures Will Lead to At Least a 3% Loss in Career Earnings for Students

OECD study says disadvantaged students ‘will almost certainly see larger impacts’

Sen. Ballard: Gov. Cooper must reverse course, allow parents to choose full-time in-person instruction

Raleigh, N.C. — A recently released study from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has found that a “typical current student might expect something on the order of 3% lower career earnings if schools immediately returned to 2019 performance levels.” Disadvantaged students, however, “will almost certainly see larger impacts.”

The study concluded that students whose schools were closed as part of the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term losses of income, nations will have a less skilled labor force and therefore a lower GDP throughout the remainder of the century, and students will face setbacks in their socio-emotional and motivational development.

“In sum, learning opportunities were significantly reduced during the school closures, and the reductions were greatest for disadvantaged children,” the study concluded.

The OECD report also found that “for a significant proportion of pupils, learning during school closures was apparently almost non-existent.” And because students build on concepts to learn over time, the lost instruction during school closures will compound learning deficits.

Specifically, the study found school closures could lower a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.5% through the rest of the century. If school systems are “slow to return to prior levels of performance” GDP could be even lower. In the United States, the authors estimate that’s equal to a $14.2 trillion loss.

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said, “This study backs up what we’ve been hearing anecdotally long-term school closures are hurting our students, especially students that are already disadvantaged. Preventing them from returning to the classroom for full-time, in-person instruction is setting them up for a lifetime of lost potential. It is imperative the Governor provide parents the option of full-time in-person instruction. The children’s futures and our state’s future depend on it.”

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.

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