Even as President Donald Trump continues to call on the nation’s schools to fully reopen this fall, many state and local leaders believe the ongoing coronavirus crisis would make in-person education too risky.
One such public official is Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who recently announced that most students in the state would return to school virtually, as Politico reported.
“The president’s insistence”
Newsom’s order merely bolsters a series of decisions by local school boards — including the state’s two largest in Los Angeles and San Diego — to begin the upcoming school year with remote learning.
In announcing the plan during a news conference on Friday, the governor acknowledged that there is an ongoing debate over the issue, but said concerns about the health of staff and students influenced his decision.
“I’m not looking to score cheap political points with people that have different points of view,” Newsom explained, adding that he is appreciative of the “conversation” that led to this point.
He added that he “recognizes the president’s insistence from an economic paradigm” that schools be reopened.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany emphasized that point during a recent news conference.
“He means open in full”
“When he says open, he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day in their school,” she said on Thursday of Trump’s position.
The president previously condemned the Los Angeles Unified School District’s decision as “terrible” and has threatened to withhold federal funding for schools that do not reopen.
“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,” he recently tweeted. Trump tweeted last week. “May cut off funding if not open!”
Meanwhile, teachers, parents, and students remain unclear about what the next school year will look like even as many states are poised to return to class within a matter of weeks.
The White House is laying out a pretty clear call to get kids back in class where the president says they belong. With so many of his critics claiming that he has failed to show leadership throughout the coronavirus, this issue appears to prove that he is doing just that.