Now we know President Biden and Democrats’ plan to reopen schools is for… “some teaching” in person “for at least one day a week.”
Is this really the Democrats’ “reopen schools” plan?
Check out these three reasons to open our schools for in-person learning now:
- 1: Failing Students: Similar patterns have emerged throughout the country – children stuck learning from behind screens are failing at unprecedented rates.
- 2: Mental Health: Children should be socializing with their peers, not learning in isolation. Now we have tangible data that shows just how detrimental this has been for their mental health.
- 3: Well-being: Aside from their learning costs and mental health, we are seeing how virtual learning has negatively impacted other facets of children’s well being.
It was recently reported that “the U.S. economy could take a $14 trillion to $28 trillion blow in the long run due to coronavirus-induced learning loss” and that the “CDC finds scant spread of coronavirus in schools with precautions in place.”
And in Rhode Island, “where limited restrictions are in place, the state found, if anything, that students attending school had slightly lower positive test cases than those not doing in-person learning.”
It’s a disservice to our nation’s kids that President Biden and House Democrats continue to stand with teachers unions instead of working with Republicans to get kids safely back to school.
Just released → President Biden's plan to "reopen" schools—one day per week. pic.twitter.com/oersIOYlR4
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 10, 2021
‘At least one day a week’: White House clarifies Biden’s goal to reopen schools
February 9, 2021 – 5:49 PM
As President Joe Biden works to reopen most of the nation’s public schools within the first 100 days of his presidency, the White House clarified their benchmarks Tuesday, giving a less ambitious goal than some parents might want to hear.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday Biden’s goal is for more than 50% of schools to have “some teaching” in person “at least one day a week” – not necessarily fully reopened – by Day 100 of his presidency.
“Hopefully it’s more,” Psaki said. “And obviously it is as much as is safe in each school and local district.”
In Biden’s 198-page plan to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, released his first full day in office, the White House lowered their marker, saying the goal only applies to “a majority of K-8 schools,” not high schools.
From the time he announced his goal in December, Biden has made clear it is contingent on funding in Congress as well as cities and state adopting appropriate safety measures.
The White House has pointed to the upcoming release of safety guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expected later this week, to provide direction for schools that remain closed in-person and limited to virtual learning.
Biden has proposed $130 billion for school reopenings in his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The money would help pay for increased staffing to reduce class sizes, building modifications to improve ventilation and protective gear to mitigate the spread of infection. It could also go toward extended learning opportunities for students who have fallen behind.
“I think it’s time for schools to reopen safely – safely,” Biden said in an interview on CBS over the weekend. “You have to have fewer people in the classroom, you have to have ventilation systems that have been reworked.”
In a call last month with teacher union leaders, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, suggested Biden’s timeframe to reopen most K-8 classrooms might not be realistic because of new variants of the virus that allow enable it to spread more easily.
“That may not happen because there may be mitigating circumstances,” Fauci said, “but what he really wants to do is everything within his power to help get to that.”
At least 60% of U.S. students are attending schools operating fully or partly online, according to Burbio, a company that aggregates school district calendars.
The other 40% are attending districts offering full-time, in-person instruction, even though parents may continue to choose remote schooling for safety reasons. The number of districts flipping from all-virtual to partial or full in-person instruction has crept up in recent weeks, according to Burbio.