As elected officials and school districts across the country debate how and when to resume in-person learning, President Donald Trump remains committed to fully reopening for the fall semester.
In fact, the president recently confirmed that he would be comfortable sending his own son Barron and his grandchildren back to school, the Washington Examiner reported.
“He means open in full”
“The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said last week, according to USA Today. “And when he says open, he means open in full, kids been able to attend each and every day at their school.”
A number of international anecdotes and several prominent medical experts suggest it could be done with little danger of a spike in coronavirus transmission.
What’s more, early evidence indicates children under 10 years old present a low risk of spreading the virus.
In addition, older children appear to have an overwhelmingly high rate of recovery, which Trump has cited in his continued directive to reopen schools.
“They don’t catch it easily,” Trump said of children during a coronavirus news conference at the White House this week, according to Politico. “They don’t bring it home easily. And if they do catch it, they get better fast.”
Additional funding needed
Of course, a number of critics have expressed concern about the potential risk to school staff and older relatives of school-age students.
In order to meet standards developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a group of educational leaders estimated in June that the average cost per school district would be about $2 million that had not been included in their budgets.
Some experts warn of the possible emotional and mental-health impact of continued remote learning, however, and the Trump administration has threatened to withhold federal funding for schools that do not open.
On Thursday, he expressed a desire to see Congress approve a spending package that would pay for safety procedures in schools and acknowledged some districts might be required to postpone the resumption of in-person education.
The president was not afraid to demonstrate his commitment to the position when he said he would be “comfortable” with sending his own family members to school in the fall.