Betsy DeVos vows students will return to classes this fall
Jul 14 2020
But in two television interviews Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos insisted on the need for schools to reopen, even as several states were registering record numbers of coronaviruscases and hospitals in many cities were struggling to cope. And where there are little flare-ups or hot spots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis.
DeVos pointed to children being a low-risk demographic and said: "There is nothing in the data that would suggest that it is unsafe to them and it's more for a matter of their health and well-being they be back in school". Many of them are going to be so far behind.
But, she added: "I am urging all universities to open and to be giving their students a total-time instruction".
The Trump administration has argued that schools must re-open in order to get the battered economy back on track, but critics have questioned whether it can be done safely.
"The CDC guidelines are just that - meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation", DeVos said.
If there is an space with higher degrees of the virus she claimed remote understanding may possibly be essential, but that it have to be "full time - no make a difference how that seems to be".
Though she explained she "feels" for instructors who have underlying disorders or are particularly susceptible to Covid-19, she claimed there are "ways for all those lecturers to be equipped to keep on to do what they do".
President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools" event in the East Room of the White House, July 7, 2020.
"What we heard from the secretary was malfeasance and dereliction of duty", Pelosi said on CNN.
"The president and his administration is messing with the health of our children", Pelosi said.
"We want to see every school district in every state doing the same thing to say not what we can't do, but what we can do and what we're going to do", she said. "But they have to go again securely".
DeVos called the guidelines "common sense" measures created to be helpful to schools as they consider how, not if, to reopen. DeVos started off the interview by telling CNN'sDana Bash that the goal is to get kids back to full-time learning, in classrooms, with which Bash, of course, agreed. "There are many counties across the country that have virtually no cases, and so school leaders need to be looking at the granular data right on the ground where they are and looking at if there are problems, then how are you going to deal with them?"
"We are not going to be rushed into this", Maryland's Republican governor, Larry Hogan, said on NBC's "Meet the Press".
Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand said it was impossible for the district to get all 188,000 kids back in the classroom while honoring the six-foot distancing guideline.
DeVos also failed to put forth any other blueprint for a safe schools reopening, saying there was no one-size-fits-all solution. He said that for Fairfax to do that would require construction of the equivalent of five more Pentagons, the massive U.S. Defense Department just outside Washington.