Schools should open in the fall. It’s critical for meeting the educational and social needs of children. But local officials should have the discretion to take tailored actions to help keep children safe. One thing about Covid-19 is clear: We don’t fully understand its severity and transmission. At various turns, we’ve both underestimated and overestimated the virus.

The debate over schools has been swept up in a political maelstrom. Reopening schools will draw more controversy if people believe their school district was forced…



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