California is Seeing Record School Closures. Wildfires Are the Leading Cause.
California’s children are suffering critical interruptions to their education as a result of wildfires, according to a new report from CalMatters.
The devastating analysis shows wildfires accounted for nearly two-thirds of canceled school days from 2002 to 2019. Half of them occurred in the past four years.
Natural disasters or other extreme weather was the second leading cause of school closures, followed by infrastructure issues and student safety (e.g. school shooting threats).
In all, school closures affected 1.2 million students last year—a record. “Put another way,” says CalMatters, “roughly every fifth student in California was sent home in the 2018-19 school year at least once for a natural disaster day, a maintenance crisis day, a threatened school shooting day or some other emergency.”