- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday that the “benefits outweigh the costs” when it comes to getting young children back in the classroom.

The billionaire philanthropist was asked during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” whether he would send his own children back to school this fall — a decision millions of parents are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m a big believer that for young children, the benefits in almost every location, particularly if you can protect the teachers well, the benefits outweigh the costs,” Mr. Gates said. “As you get up to, age 13 or higher, then you have to look at your locale to decide what you’ll do with high schools.

“And if they are not in, then you have to put in massive effort into trying to get there to be continued learning online,” he continued. “Our foundation has revamped our education work to really jump in and help out. You know, get those online capabilities up and make sure minority students and low-income students aren’t suffering the most throughout all of this.

“But it’s a very tough set of trade-offs that everyone’s going through,” he added.

Mr. Gates’s comments come as school districts across the country grapple with how to deal with students returning, or not returning, to school in a safe way. Many school districts are offering parents a choice between in-school and online learning, while others such as San Diego and Los Angeles have closed through the fall. New York City schoolchildren will return to the classroom on an alternating basis, with two or three days out of the week being taught online.

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