Report: Over-reaction to COVID shrunk enrollment, discouraged student achievement

Report: Over-reaction to COVID shrunk enrollment, discouraged student achievement

Report: Over-reaction to COVID shrunk enrollment, discouraged student achievement

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recently published the “Return 2 Learn Tracker,” which chronicles the devastating impact the nation’s COVID-19 restrictions and how the government’s response shrunk enrollment numbers for school districts across the country.

Nationwide, 1.2 million students left public schools in 2020-2021, and 1.3 million students have left public schools since the pandemic began. Here in Pennsylvania, the state saw a decline of 2.91 percent in enrollment from 2020-2022.

To the surprise of only the most passionate defenders of the president’s strategy, there was a direct correlation between extended school closures and mask requirements and poor student performance.

Numbers don’t lie.

This is the very-much-intended consequence of public-sector unions and their influence over our elected officials. Government unions gave Gov. Tom Wolf more than $10 million to secure his re-election bid and are currently shelling out millions more in this current election cycle to make secure their radical candidates’ victories.

The reality is jarring but, unfortunately, not surprising. It was reported in 2021 that Wolf and his team met with, and took directives from, the heads of state teachers’ unions prior to issuing shutdown orders for school districts across our Commonwealth.

Apparently in the eyes of radical politicians, if the public-sector unions give you enough money, they can buy any outcome they like — even one that destroys our next generation in the process.

East Coast Director
Hunter Tower was hired as the Pennsylvania Director for the Freedom Foundation in March 2020 and now serves as the East Coast Director. Hunter has previously served as Executive Director of the Republican Committee of Lancaster County and as a Field Director with the PAGOP. He has also served as a Campaign Manager for a State Representative race in Connecticut and has lobbied Congress on behalf of his Fraternity (Theta Chi) and the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition (FGRC) to pass the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA). Hunter has been featured in many outlets across the East Coast and the nation such as RealClearPolicy, RedState, Center Square, Broad + Liberty, Penn Live, City & State, and Lincoln Radio Journal. He’s a member and Parliamentarian of the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has facilitated several national and regional events for his Fraternity, is a charter member of his local Rotary Club, a Kentucky Colonel, and a former member of Kennett Township (PA) Zoning Hearing Board. Hunter’s family has a long history in politics beginning with Charlemagne Tower Jr., who served as Minister to Austria-Hungary (1897–1899) for President William McKinley before being transferred to Russia as Ambassador (1899–1902). Following his post in St. Petersburg, Charlemagne served as Ambassador to Germany from 1902 to 1908 under President Theodore Roosevelt. Tower City in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania is named after his father, Charlemagne Tower, as is Tower, Minnesota, and Tower City, North Dakota. Hunter’s cousin, former United States Senator John G. Tower (R-Texas), served 24 years in the Senate and was George H.W. Bush’s first nominee for Secretary of Defense. Hunter’s late father, John W. Tower, was President Richard Nixon’s aide at the 1972 RNC in Florida with Alexander Haig’s son, worked with the Reagan Administration in the 1980s, and was a lobbyist in Washington, DC as President of American Strategy Group. Hunter is a graduate of Widener University in Chester, PA with a B.A. in Political Science. Hunter and his wife reside in Pennsylvania, with their two children and two rescue dogs.