WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, South Carolina mother Denise Ladson Johnson, who was featured in Independent Women’s Forum’s Pandemic Learning Stories series, testified at the Committee on Economic Fairness in Growth’s hearing on “Growing our Economy by Investing in Families: How Supporting Family Caregiving Expands Economic Opportunity and Benefits All Americans.” Ladson Johnson’s testimony focused on the learning loss children suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it made life for working parents harder.
At the hearing, Ladson Johnson told Ranking Member Bryan Steil of Wisconsin of her decision to remove her youngest son, Moses, from public school during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Well, I didn’t send [my son] back to school after the closure of the first part of his school year because of just the indecisiveness that [school administrators] had as far as what [were] the regulations, what were they going to do with the kids, they were giving them half days where they were going full days,” Ladson Johnson said. “…I don’t understand how that benefits or how as far as working parents, how are we going to be able to manage that scheduling with jobs and then have to bring our kids back home?”
Ladson Johnson, the only minority witness, testified alongside majority witnesses: Dr. Michelle Holder, President and CEO, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; Ms. Ai-jen Poo, Co-Director of Caring Across Generations, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MacArthur Fellow; Ms. Melissa Boteach, Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/Early Learning, National Women’s Law Center; and Mr. Elliot Haspel, Early-Childhood Policy Expert, and Program Officer, Education Policy and Research, Robins Foundation.
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