Ventilation is simply a crutch to excuse doing nothing. It was a problem identified early in 2020, again to mitigate the return to school before a coronavirus vaccine was available. The $68 billion Congress authorized provided funding specifically for ventilation. But most schools did little or nothing in the past year to improve ventilation, and it is more likely that we finally return to school before any substantive changes are made to the thousands of schools that remain shuttered. The absence of new ventilation systems has not held back the majority of schools that have opened up to some degree without disruption.
Meanwhile, focusing the debate on the importance of class size is a way to disguise proposing that kids will go to school two days a week indefinitely. The idea is that a full class increases risk, so we need to cut class sizes in half. But nobody realistically believes that America is about to double its school-building capacity, at least not in the next year. Anyone whose kid has gone to class in a trailer behind a school building knows that it takes years to develop plans for new buildings, personnel, and district lines.
The two-day-a-week hybrid model, with its implicitly smaller class sizes, was created to get kids back into the classroom before a vaccine was available. Inept school boards kept delaying the end of this temporary measure. Now, after it has been done for so long, it is being deceptively embraced as the post-vaccine ideal. This is simply nuts.