Inequality Gap Among Atlanta Students May Grow Due To COVID-19 Pandemic, Experts Say

Educational experts in metro Atlanta are concerned about the long-term effects the extended absence from classrooms will have on students.

The Atlanta Public School system opted to start digitally on Monday for the first nine weeks of the school year due to safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, meaning more than seven months will have passed by the time students return to classrooms this October.

That long of a break, educational experts told GPB News, may further exacerbate the inequality gap between Black and Latino students and their white peers. The experts said they understand the need for safety precautions for students, teachers and staff, but they said the impact of being away is of extreme concern.

“The longer it goes, the less you will remember,” said Ed Chang, the executive director of redefinED atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of all students through high-quality education.