School Shutdowns Will Cost Students a Staggering Amount in Lifetime Earnings, New McKinsey Analysis Shows

Image Credit: McKinsey & Company

All this educational loss will have grave financial implications. The analysts find that students adversely impacted by school closures could earn $49,000 to $61,000 less over their lifetimes as a result. This may amount to a $128 billion to $188 billion annual loss to the US economy as the affected generation eventually enters the workforce.

Serious Implications for Mental Health

Yet the harm inflicted on our children by government mandates closing schools isn't just academic or financial. Depriving children of in-person socialization, limiting their ability to see friends, and disrupting their routines took a grave toll on their mental health, too, McKinsey finds.

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McKinsey surveyed more than 16,000 parents across all 50 states. At least 35 percent said they were "very" or "extremely" concerned about their children’s mental health. Nearly 80 percent indicated some level of concern. Meanwhile, parents reported a 6 percent increase in clinical-level anxiety and a 5 percent increase in clinical-level depression among their children. They also reported increased social withdrawal, self-isolation, lethargy, and irrational fear.

Image Credit: McKinsey & Company

Harm Inflicted on an Entire Generation of Children

With this comprehensive data in hand, it's undeniable that government-mandated school closures imposed life-long harm on an entire generation of children.

To be clear, virtual or remote schooling itself isn't the problem. For some students and families, it may work well. But the government overrode the judgment of parents and school officials, denying them the opportunity for in-person education even if that’s what they wanted.

We now have to live with the dismal results. Let them stand as a reminder of what happens when we superimpose the will of detached government bureaucrats over parents who are far better positioned to make good decisions for their children.

 

Originally published at FEE.org. Republished with permission.

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