Biden Trims Ambitions on School Reopening Pledge

Biden Trims Ambitions on School Reopening Pledge

WASHINGTON – President Biden appeared to explain to many teachers and parents what they had been seeking for almost a year when he vowed to reopen schools in his 100th day in office in the first days of his White House: a scheme.

But as the White House struggled to turn the president’s lofty pitch into reality, Biden allies are going against it as a new form of coronovirus, protesting teachers’ unions, and the fear and disappointment of students and parents.

In the weeks following his election, Mr. Biden has limited his call to reopen all schools to just elementary and middle schools. And over the past week, the White House has also tried to overcome those expectations, establishing a “majority of schools” or a reopening benchmark of 51 percent.

In response to questions about Jane Saki, the White House press secretary, what “open school” means on Tuesday, Set threshold In-person teaching is offered in more than 50 percent of schools at least one day a week. On Wednesday, when asked why the threshold was so low – about half of the country’s students are attending school in person, and most districts in the country are already offering at least some in-learning learning – Ms Saki indicated that this was a starting point, but said it was part of an “adventurous and ambitious agenda”.

“We are not planning to celebrate 100 days when we reach that goal,” she said. “But we certainly expect him to build.”

By Thursday, she had made it clear that Mr. Biden “would not rest until school opened five days a week,” but wanted “schools to open safely and in harmony with science.”

Education leaders say they were not too surprised by the administration’s vaccinations, as the 100-day plan was always vague and largely symbolic. He also said that the federal government had no say in whether the schools were open and no force compelled them to do so.

Nevertheless, Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, said some of her members were removed from the threshold of at least a week of a day. He said that the association is with the administration – Jill Biden, a college professor And Mr. Biden’s wife, a member – enabled him to calm concerns.

“We understand that what they are trying to say is that schools need resources, flexibility, transparency, collaboration, so we can get closer and closer to reopening our schools full time,” she said.

but Criticized republican Explanation as backpedaling on the administration’s lofty initial promises.

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, Republican leader, declared the Biden administration’s goal of reopening 50% of classes for one day a week unacceptable, Said on twitter. “Our students are more qualified.”

A group of Republican lawmakers who work Health care industry sent a letter Mr. Biden argued that his own public health experts urged all teachers to reopen the schools before they were vaccinated.

The administration has indicated that the pressure to reopen the schools will hinge on the new guidance expected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

CDC Director of Mr. Biden, Drs. Rochelle P. This guidance has already been a source of tension in the White House since Valenski told reporters at a briefing this month that “there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen,” “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe re-operation of schools.”

Ms. Saki said the next day that Dr. Valensky was speaking in his “personal capacity”.

Is administration Banking billions of dollars in relief fund For schools that are part of the huge Coronavirus incentive bill making its way through Congress.

House Democrats A bill advanced this week It includes $ 129 billion in education relief funds, which can be used for a variety of reopening measures such as repairing ventilation systems and reducing class sizes to make students socially spaced. The measure includes a requirement that districts use 20 percent of their funding to reduce epidemic-related lost learning through initiatives like summer education and extended days.

The bill includes about $ 40 billion for colleges and universities, and requires half the funding of schools to go toward direct payments for financially struggling students.

The dollar figures of the bill are advocating for primary and secondary education advocates, but the demand made by higher education officials was low.

Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, which represents college and university presidents and higher education officials, said in a statement that significant needs of at least $ 97 billion were unheard of by the previous pandemic relief bill . “The situation facing students and colleges and universities – public and private, small and large, urban and rural – remains a crisis of almost unimaginable magnitude,” he said.

A document detailing the proposed funding of the comprehensive $ 1.9 trillion package that Mr. Biden is part of is circulating through Congress. It calls for $ 60 billion to stop teacher layoffs, $ 50 billion for more staff to reduce class sizes, $ to disrupt virtual learning for low-income students, and purchase personal protective equipment 6 billion helps to close the “digital divide”. It also includes billions of dollars and covering transportation costs for more counselors and custodial staff members.

But the requests have prompted scrutiny from Republican lawmakers who say they read like a union wish list for challenges that were neither created nor relevant to the coronovirus crisis. A Republican aide said some requests were higher than the estimates from sources that cite the document – in some cases by billions of dollars. Those sources include the CDC and the American Federation of Teachers. The document states that the requests are to cover the current and next school year.

Last week, Miguel Bideon’s Education Secretary Miguel A. Cardona rejected a suggestion made by Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, that the requests were thanked.

Dr. Cardona made a nomination from the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, according to which the funds being discussed actually help us in the long-term recovery process, preventing layoffs when we need more teachers is.

Ms Pringle said her union is in contact with the Biden administration about their school’s reopening plan. She said that her plan recognizes that “if there are associations behind what you want to do, it is done.”

Mr. Biden’s strong relationship with teachers’ unions, which helped him choose, is expressing concern that it may ultimately thwart his ambitions for all children to return to school.

Ms. Psaki was asked about recent skirmishes in cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, where teachers’ unions and school districts struggled to agree on how to get students back into buildings .

“If it comes down to a binary option, if it comes down to a binary option, who will the president choose: children or teachers?” A reporter asked.

“I think it’s a little unfair how you raise that question,” he replied. “But I would say that the President believes that schools should be open.” Teachers want the school to be open. Families want the school to be open. But we want to do it safely. “



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