With some students learning online or experiencing a hybrid of online and in-person classes due to COVID-19, WalletHub today released its report on the Safest States for Schools to Reopen.
To identify which states have the safest conditions for reopening schools, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 15 key metrics. Our data set includes such things as the number of child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children, the average public-school class size, and the ratio of students to school nurses.
South Carolina was ranked 49th in the nation, just behind Mississippi as the 2nd least safe state to reopen their schools. North Carolina ranked just under the half-way mark at #27 in the nation.
Safest States for Schools to Reopen
|State||Total Score||‘Risk of COVID-19 Infections’ Rank||‘Health & Financial Infrastructure’ Rank|
Here are the metrics the site used to make the ranking:
Risk of COVID-19 Infections – Total Points: 60
- Child COVID-19 Cases per 100,000 Children: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
- Child COVID-19 Deaths per 100,000 Children: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
- COVID-19 Cases in the Last Seven Days per 100,000 Residents: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
- Public Mask Usage: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the presence or absence of state action requiring residents to wear a face mask in public.
- 1 – No state action on public face coverings;
- 0.5 – State requires the use of face coverings for certain employees;
- 0.25 – State allows local officials to require the use of public face coverings for the general public;
- 0 – Face coverings required for the general public
- Share of K-12 Public School Students Transported Through School Transportation: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Public K-12 Students Transported Daily/ Total K-12 Students Enrolled.
- Average Public-School Class Size: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This composite metric takes into account primary schools, middle schools and high schools.
- Pupil-Teacher Ratio: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
- Share of Seniors Living with School-Age Children: Double Weight (~8.00 Points)
Note: This metric refers to “Seniors” as individuals aged 65 and older and “School-Age Children” as 5 to 18 years old.
- Share of Children Living in Crowded Housing: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This metric refers to the share of children under age 18 living in households that have more than one person per room.
- Overall Likelihood of COVID-19 Infections: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This metric refers to the current COVID-19 transmission number, which is an estimate of the average number of people to whom an infected person will transmit the COVID-19 virus.
Health & Financial Infrastructure – Total Points: 40
- Comprehensive School Reopening Guidance: Triple Weight (~13.33 Points)
Note: This metric scores how many of the 12 criteria considered are addressed in the respective state’s school reopening policies. The 12 criteria noted are: Core Academics, SARS CoV2 Protection, Before & After School Programs, School Access & Transportation, Student Health Services, Food & Nutrition, Parent Choice, Teacher & Staff Choice, Children with special needs / ESL / Gifted and Twice Exceptional, Children of poverty and systemic disadvantage, Privacy, Engagement and Transparency.
- WalletHub’s “Best & Worst States for Children’s Health Care” Score: Double Weight (~8.89 Points)
Note: This metric in based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst States for Children’s Health Care” ranking.
- WalletHub’s “States with the Best Health Infrastructure for Coronavirus” Score: Double Weight (~8.89 Points)
Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “States with the Best Health Infrastructure for Coronavirus” ranking, and includes metrics such as: Number of Hospital Beds per Capita, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Beds per Capita or Number of Hospital Beds Most Needed Exclusively for COVID Patients per All Hospital Beds Available.
- Student-to-School-Nurse Ratio: Full Weight (~4.44 Points)
- Total Current Spending on Elementary & Secondary Schools per Pupil: Full Weight (~4.44 Points)
Note: Current spending includes per pupil spending for salaries and wages, employee benefit payments, current spending for instruction and current spending for support services. The per pupil spending amounts included are derived from current spending totals and the fall membership data. Per pupil expenditure does not include spending for non-elementary-secondary programs (community service, adult education), or spending by a school system for students not included in its fall membership counts.
What do you think about the results?