Vote Narrow, But COVID Will Not Be Added to K-12 Mandatory Vaccines
Perhaps overshadowed by the freakish weather and other news, a huge vote happened this week.
At least for now, no mandatory COVID vaccine for K-12 in WA
You may recall back in January and February a Technical Advisory Group, or TAG, took up the subject of whether to add COVID-19 to the list of K-12 mandatory school vaccines (which include MMR etc) .
It set off a fury of opposition and attention. The public hearing which took place saw a record number of persons sign up to testify and well over 4,000 to watch online.
The advisory group voted no on the idea, and finally this week, the Washington State Board of Health officially voted no. The votes were 6 yes, 7 no, and 4 unsure. A very close margin.
Board cites the statements against the idea
According to what's posted about the TAG online:
- "Non-supportive: Members expressed doubt about making a recommendation to the Board and stated concerns about unintended consequences of doing so. Members stated concerns about a lack of good data and not being comfortable with children possibly losing time away from school." (state board of health official website and information page)
However, had they decided to vote yes, they would have likely triggered an even bigger exodus from the public school system. It's doubtful they were not aware of this possibility even if they never discussed it.
The Post Millenial, even the liberal publication Crosscut, and others have examined student losses from public schools since the COVID pandemic began.
WA Schools have lost a total of 41,172 students from K-12 from 2020-2021
These are students who officially filled out paperwork moving them to private schools, or homeschooling. It does not include families whose parents didn't officially withdraw or otherwise notify their district. In addition, for the current school year, 2021-22, another 1.461 students (projected) withdrew.
In February, Crosscut reported about $900 million in school funding was not allocated, because it is done on an enrollment basis. Fewer students, fewer funds are distributed.
So, for now, no COVID-19 mandated vaccines to attend school...for now.
Judging from the tidal wave of negative response to this proposal, it's likely parents would have withdrawn their children in droves.
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