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Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

School districts across the United States expect one of the largest kindergarten classes to date this fall, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Last year, the number of four-year-olds enrolled in preschool fell from 71% to 54% during the pandemic. This fall, students who missed out on kindergarten because of pandemic-related disruptions are expected to return and do so less prepared than usual.

  • “It is important that teachers realize that the routines are going to be different than perhaps what you may have expected of learners in the past,” Irene Parisi, Connecticut's chief academic officer, told AP.
  • The superintendent of the Freeman School District in Rockford, Wash., said nearly one-third of the children did not attend preschool or kindergarten last school year.
  • It remains unclear just how large the kindergarten classes may be.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

America's pandemic pessimism returns

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

A majority of Americans now, once again, say the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, per new Harris polling provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: We took a brief hiatus from worrying about the pandemic, but the Delta variant and the response to it appear to have sent us back to a dark place.

19 hours ago - Axios Tampa Bay

Florida counties hold off on adding more COVID testing despite Delta surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As COVID cases continue to rise in Florida, commercial care centers are busier than ever with an influx of patients seeking tests, WFLA reports.

State of play: TGH Urgent Care medical director Dr. Nicole Frommann told the station that clinics like hers are seeing a record number of patients who want tests, and she believes larger government testing sites need to open back up.

23 hours ago - Health

Biden to GOP governors who resist COVID rules: "Get out of the way"

President Biden speaks at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden spoke out Tuesday against Republican governors who've sought to block vaccine and mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases spike across the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has tried to avoid making the pandemic a partisan issue, but the Washington Post notes the White House "has grown increasingly frustrated" with Republican leaders looking to obstruct health measures.