Johnson’s Kids Success Act Examines Continued School Closure Impact on Vulnerable Students

April 15, 2021
Press Release
Only 46% of Middle Schoolers are Back in School In-Person

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Kids In-Person Determines School (KIDS) Success Act to assess the impact extended school closures have on students’ academic and emotional wellbeing. According to recent data, only “47 percent of schools serving fourth-graders and 46 percent serving eighth-graders were open for full in-person instruction.”

“While South Dakota schools have been open in-person, there are thousands of children throughout the country that have not been given this same opportunity to learn in a traditional classroom setting,” said Johnson. “The number of children unaccounted for in schools is beyond unsettling and continued school closures risk the futures of our nation’s most vulnerable students. The KIDS Success Act would collect critical data of the effects of school closures on students across the country while the districts continued to receive billions in federal funding.

“The CDC has made it clear: it’s safe for kids to return to the classroom in-person and Congress has provided the resources to make it happen, it’s past time schools reopen.”

Currently, the Department of Education stated there is not enough data to understand the status of school reopening’s and how students have been learning nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The KIDS Success would:

  • Collect much-needed data about school reopenings and enable a necessary assessment of the effects of school closures on children.
  • Require each local educational agency that received funds from the American Rescue Plan to submit to the Secretary of Education information including:
    • an explanation of the reasons unopened schools in their jurisdiction have not opened for full-time, in-person learning in accordance with the CDC’s guidance titled “Strategy for K–12 Schools through Phased Prevention.”
    • the expected date on which students are likely to return to such school for full time, in-person learning
    • the total amount of federal COVID-19 relief funds received in the preceding 12 months.
  • Utilizing this information, the Secretary of Education will undertake an assessment of the effects of school closures on students and, within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, submit their findings to Congress.

The KIDS Success Act is cosponsored by Reps. Tracey Mann (R-KS-01), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07), Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-TX-36), and Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22).