A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a non-profit, non-partisan economic research group, ranked Florida as the 6th most successful state in terms of education during the outbreak of COVID-19, receiving a grade of ‘A’ and placing behind only Utah, Nebraska, Vermont, Montana, and South Dakota.
Florida had the second-highest percentage of students participating in in-person schooling, at 96.2 percent. Arkansas, ranked No. 9 overall, had the highest percentage of the top 10 states, at 96.8 percent of students attending school in person.
The study states that Florida took a measured and successful approach to retrictions, suggesting that Florida’s strategy of sheltering those who are high-risk was successful.
“There is no clear pattern in which states had high and low mortality, although we note one major study from Rand Corporation researchers found that lockdowns increased all-cause mortality to a statistically significant extent,” the study says. “Whether or not political leaders can be considered responsible for mortality outcomes is therefore unclear, although advocates of a “focused protection” strategy have suggested that sheltering the high-risk could reduce overall mortality – an approach adopted by Florida.”
The report goes on to state that although the state was criticized for having policies that were “too open,” Florida proved to have average mortality while maintaining a high level of economic activity and a high rate of in-person instruction
“Unsurprisingly, there was a strong relationship between the states that had poor economic performance and closed schools-the lockdown states,” NBER said in the study.
Consequentially, the state’s economy recovered faster than most other states, including states similar in population like California and New York. While Florida was registered to have one of the high mortality rates among those in the top ten of the study, the study found that a considerable number of those deaths, and similar across the nation, were owed to comorbidity factors.