Another day, another rant from Donald Trump. Today, Donnie took to Twitter to complain about schools that refuse to reopen during the pandemic.
In his tweet, which set off alarms for educators and parents alike, Trump threatened to cut federal funding if schools don’t physically reopen. This increases the pressure on education leaders as the Trump administration works to get kids back in the classroom.
“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!” Trump tweeted.
In a secondary tweet, Trump provided more context.
“I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!”
Vice President Mike Pence said that most education spending does not come out of federal coffers during a briefing at Education Department headquarters on Wednesday, Politco reports.
He said the Trump administration will instead work with Congress on the next coronavirus emergency relief bill on ways to urge states to reopen schools.
“At this point, 90 percent of education funding comes from the states. Roughly 10 percent, depending on states’ budgets, comes from the federal government,” Pence told reporters. “And as we work with Congress on the next round of state support, we’re going to be looking for ways to give states a strong incentive and encouragement to get kids back to school.”
Pence continued, “There may be some states and local communities that, given cases or positivity in that community, may adjust to either a certain set of days, or certain limitations. And we’ll be very respectful of that.”
“What the President’s made clear, though, is that we think it’s absolutely imperative that every state and territory in this country take steps to get kids back in the classroom to the fullest extent possible. We really believe that every state has the ability to do that. But for those individual communities that may be seeing outbreaks, we’ll work with them, give them the guidance and the support to be able to implement the policies that they deem are most appropriate.”
On Tuesday night, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she is “very seriously” looking at withholding federal funds from schools that don’t open their doors this fall.
“Kids have got to continue learning,” she told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson during an interview late Tuesday. “Schools have got to open up, there has got to be concerted effort to address the needs of all kids and adults who are fear mongering and making excuses simply have got to stop doing it and turn their attention on what is right for students and for their families.”
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