President Joe Biden’s plan for reopening America’s schools prioritizes K-8 and does not lay out plans for high schools, according to the “national strategy” the White House released Friday.
Biden has called for “most” K-8 schools to reopen in his first 100 days in office, but his “national strategy” remains silent on in-person classes for older students. Biden’s plan for K-8 schools calls on Congress to provide $130 billion in funding for schools to increase testing and improve safety guidelines. (RELATED: Biden To Sign Order Protecting US Manufacturing As Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea)
“The President wants to see all kids safely back in school,” a White House spokesperson told the Daily Caller on Wednesday. “He also understands that reopening is not a light switch. The truth is that remote learning has been particularly difficult for younger children. Further, if younger children safely resume in-person learning, it will greatly alleviate parents’ child care challenges and could potentially boost our economy by getting more parents back into the workforce, So we are going to prioritize getting K-8 schools safely reopened as quickly as we can, with a continued goal of getting all kids back to school.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a Wednesday press briefing that the White House will defer to the CDC and health experts on specific plans for reopening. The administration has not released a timeline for when a plan for high schools could be released.
Biden has repeatedly said reopening schools is a priority for his administration. Some teachers unions have begun floating the possibility of staying with distanced learning through the fall.
“It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,” Biden said in early December. “If Congress provides the funding… if states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.”
A Tuesday report from CDC researchers argued that schools are safe to reopen with social distancing and mask-wearing measures. The CDC researchers cited a Mississippi study finding that coronavirus cases in students age 18 and under had no correlation with in-person school attendance.