Biden launches ‘roadmap’ for reopening schools as Trump calls for return to the classroom
As back-to-school time inches closer and the debate over how --or if-- students should return to classrooms this school year rages on, former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden laid out his “roadmap to reopening schools safely,” Friday afternoon, calling on Congress to provide an influx in funding to help get students back into the classroom, ABC News reports.
“Everyone wants our schools to be open. The question is how to make it safe, how to make it stick. Forcing educators and students back into a classroom, into areas where the infection rate is going up or remaining very high is just plain dangerous,” Biden said in a video released along with his plan.
The former vice president laid out five areas of focus in his roadmap, including insuring schools have the funding needed to allow for in-person learning for students, calling on Trump and Senate Republicans to allocate the $58 billion for local school districts to stabilize public education that was included in the House-passed HEROES Act.
Biden also calls for an additional $30 billion emergency funding package to “ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19.”
“This package should include funding for child care providers and public schools — particularly Title I schools and Indian schools — for personal protective equipment; public health and sanitation products; custodial and health services; and alterations to building ventilation systems, classrooms, schedules, class size, and transportation,” Biden’s plan stipulates.
“If you don't have that capacity, I think it’s too dangerous to open the school,” Biden said in an interview this week, referring to schools’ ability to create a socially distant learning environment for students and teachers. “That's why we need some national leadership to lay out what the conditions for opening schools, and what makes them safe.”
Along with the emergency funding, Biden also calls for $4 Billion to be allocated for technology improvements, including broadband internet access.
Biden’s plan comes amid a strident push from President Trump and his administration for schools to fully reopen this fall despite lingering public health concerns and a surge in COVID-19 cases across several states.