Today, only about 40 percent of schools in the U.S. teach only full-time
The U.S. is having trouble opening public schools across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the White House on Sunday said it hopes most will return to full-time education by April.
“That’s our goal, that’s our plan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on ABC’s “This Week” program.
She noted, however, that achieving that goal depends on Congress approving a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which includes $130 billion in aid to schools.
“Many schools across the country don’t have the resources to renovate buildings, to hire more bus drivers, more temporary teachers to reduce class sizes,” she said.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made “clear, evidence-based recommendations for school districts,” Psaki noted.
“But not every school in the country has that funding and resources,” she said. – We need the federal government to get on board with this.”
The House of Representatives plans to vote this week on Biden’s proposed aid package in hopes of full congressional approval by mid-March.
Currently, 47 percent of students from kindergarten through 8th grade attend full-time classes. For grades 9-12, the figure is 33 percent. For the rest, classes are in a complete distance or blended format.
However, one of the Republicans critical of Biden’s aid package, Congressman Steve Scalise, told ABC that “the money is already there,” referring to the trillion dollars of unspent funds from previous aid packages.
Scalise also condemned Biden’s package for not requiring schools to open fully if funds are allocated.
“There are a lot of scientific findings that say virtual learning is harmful to children,” he said. – “Millions of children in America today are not in classrooms every day.
“Our kids can’t wait They have to be in classrooms today. Science says they can be in classrooms today,” the lawmaker said.
Scalise said “the question is whether some politicians in Washington have the will to bow to teachers’ unions,” some of whom oppose the resumption of full-time education.
Leading U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told CNN that the Biden administration’s “default position is to put kids back in schools and protect teachers.”
He said schools across the U.S. will be able to open if they follow the CDC recommendations issued the other day “to get kids back to school in the safest way possible.”