Luck Egalitarianism and COVID-19: The Case for Compensating Children for School Closures

Studies in Philosophy and Education 42 (1):65-81 (2023)
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The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in school closures around the world, leaving lasting negative impacts on many children. Given that such closures are justified public health measures, this raises the question of compensating children for school closures. In this article I address the question of compensation from the perspective of a popular theory of justice: luck egalitarianism. In doing so, I examine a problem with applying luck egalitarianism to children, called the agency assumption. I then argue this assumption results in a dilemma for luck egalitarianism and suggest how this dilemma can be overcome. I argue that the resulting form of luck egalitarianism reveals something interesting about compensating children for school closures: luck egalitarianism requires us to address all bases of justice-relevant inequality among children—Covid-19-related and beyond. Although much of the current discussion of compensating children for such closures has focused narrowly on the need to make up for lost instruction time or to prevent reductions in educational achievement, I argue that a luck egalitarian conception of justice requires us to go beyond merely compensating children for educational losses and instead aim for radical equality in education.



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Jay Zameska
Jagiellonian University

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality.R. M. Dworkin - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):377-389.
What is a child?Tamar Schapiro - 1999 - Ethics 109 (4):715–738.
Equality, Luck and Hierarchy.Ronald Dworkin - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (2):190-198.

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