Texas Students Struggling During Pandemic, Now Hit With Winter Storms Impact

"I have a big concern. Are they lacking in education? I think that they probably are," said parent Amy Deal.

Video Transcript

- The so-called COVID slide could be even worse after the storms we had last week. Experts say the continued interruption of school could make our children's learning loss even more pronounced. CBS 11's Brooke Rogers explains.

BROOKE ROGERS: It's a concern for parents everywhere. The longer the pandemic goes, the greater the gap in their children's education.

CARRIE PASCHALL: You know, I just worry for all of the kids who aren't maybe getting the learning and the education and the structure that they need. That's really scary for me. I would love to see kids get back in school 100%.

AMY DEAL: I do have a big concern that are they lacking in education? I do think that they probably are.

BROOKE ROGERS: Education policy expert and author Elliot Haspel says this month's storms and the aftermath are yet another blow to students' academic success. The storms forced additional days of closures. And districts, including Dallas and Arlington, have yet to return even virtually.

ELLIOT HASPEL: Unfortunately, you know, it really does exacerbate it. If you think about [INAUDIBLE] a strained, you know, a bridge that's crumbling already. And then you drive a few more trucks over, like, maybe that's the thing that finally causes it to, you know, go into the river.

BROOKE ROGERS: He says research had already shown a significant drop in early literacy benchmarks as well as spikes in the number of students failing. Those most at risk, lower income students, English language learners, students with special needs, and those learning how to read. Though he says everyone is affected.

ELLIOT HASPEL: We need every learning day that is feasible for children right now, again, because we want to make sure that we're maximizing that time and because we don't want them to slip further behind on remembering the things that they've already learned.

BROOKE ROGERS: He says this situation will further the need for intervention on the other side of the pandemic, potentially including a longer school year, tutoring, mentoring, and additional mental health support. Brooke Rogers, CBS 11 News.