n remarks on Tuesday dealing with the planned reopening of public schools, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas mentioned the federal CARES money that Platte County is holding. You’ll recall the state treasurer had asked Platte County to pass $6 million of the $12 million now in the county’s control to the City of Kansas City, based on the fact half of Platte County’s population is made up of residents within the city limits of Kansas City.
County commissioners thus far have declined to advance the money to Kansas City. In the meantime, the commission is moving forward with distributing some of that CARES money to private businesses who applied for grants. More than 150 applications have been received. Last Friday, the county commission awarded the first eight grants. Commissioners are giving the impression a larger round of awards is coming soon, possibly as early as Friday.
Lucas indicates Kansas City would use CARES money to assist in the attempts to reopen schools this fall. Two public school districts in Platte County–Park Hill and Platte County R-3–have district boundaries within the city limits of Kansas City.
“Much of our reopening guidance moving forward will be dependent on Kansas City and school districts receiving our portion of CARES Act funding from our counties, which will fund vital PPE, infrastructure, and virtual learning support for classroom learning in a safe and responsible manner,” the Kansas City mayor said this week.
Want to know which businesses/individuals have applied for one of the Platte County CARES grants to be determined by the county commission? By clicking here you’ll see a list of business names, the amount requested, and name on the grant application. That list is of applications received as of July 16. You’ll find it interesting. A couple of the KCI area hotels are asking for nearly half a million dollars each. Yikes. There are many other highlights you’ll notice as you read through the list.
And sure, the type size is small, so if you’re old like me you might need to hold the newspaper really close to your face. We’re working on getting the list available on our web site for easier reading. But realizing some of our readers still don’t like to do the internet thang, we wanted to get the entire list in the print version at any type size possible.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is pushing for schools to reopen this fall for in-person learning while acknowledging that he believes it will mean most students will likely contract coronavirus. And before we got any further, let me say I think all of us want the world to get to a place where in-person school days are a thing again. Most of us seem to agree in-person schooling is better than long distance learning, for a long list of reasons. But the governor’s words, well, you’ll be able to read them for yourself as we continue here.
The governor’s comments were made during a Friday interview with St. Louis radio host Marc Cox. Interestingly, on Monday of this week the governor tried to say his remarks were being “taken out of context.” Parson is going old school with that one. “Taken out of context” used to be the popular go-to excuse for politicians but that went out of style about four years ago. Maybe the governor should hit the tanning salon and catch up with the cool kids because nowadays the response to any less-than-complimentary reporting is supposed to be “fake news, fake news.” Even when the reports are factual.
Anyway, back to what the governor said. On the radio. So, you know, people heard the whole spiel. The entire context, if you will.
“These kids gotta get back to school,” Parson said. “They’re at the lowest risk possible and if they do get COVID-19 – which they will, and they will when they go to school – they’re not going to the hospitals, they’re not going to have to sit in doctors offices. They’re going to go home, and they’re gonna get over it and most of it all proves out to be that way if you look at the science of it.”
Not surprisingly, Parson’s apparent lack of understanding of the potential domino effect of a highly contagious disease left him open for criticism. And it came. Boy, did it. Nationwide. Those of us who have heard Parson make a stump speech weren’t necessarily shocked (okay, maybe a little) but the national news outlets were stunned. CNN, USA Today and many more had a field day with the comments. As, not surprisingly, did Nicole Galloway, who will oppose Parson on the November ballot. Galloway spoke to the obvious problem overlooked by Parson in his remarks.
“When Gov. Parson admitted he’s fine with your kids getting COVID-19 at school, he admitted that he’s fine with exposing teachers, school administrators, custodial staff, bus drivers, your families, friends and neighbors to this deadly virus. This isn’t leadership.”
The U.S. daily death total due to COVID-19 on Tuesday exceeded 1,000 for the first time in weeks. Now, after a lengthy period of resisting, even President Trump is publicly encouraging his followers to wear masks when it’s not possible to have proper social distancing. That’s a shot across the bow of conspiracy theorists.
Meanwhile, the latest from Gov. Mike Parson? “If you want to wear a dang mask, wear a mask.”
Dang. It’s like Gomer Pyle woke up one day to find himself governor of Missouri. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Things that make you go hmmm.
The Park Hill School Board holds virtual meetings to talk about sending kids to in-person school.
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