Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called for federal relief funding to be withheld from schools that refuse to reopen for in-person learning, a press release said.
Hawley introduced the amendment to Congress’ proposed budget resolution in light of recent evidence from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows schools are at low-risk for transmitting the coronavirus.
“In spite of overwhelming evidence that schools can reopen safely, partisan advocates are using children’s education as a cudgel to push their radical agendas,” Hawley said in a Wednesday statement. “The effect on children and working-class families has been absolutely devastating. The federal government should put an end to this two-tiered education system for the haves and the have-nots by incentivizing schools to safely reopen.”
INBOX: Sen. Josh Hawley Calls to Restrict Federal Funds from Schools Refusing to Reopen pic.twitter.com/Ss5sw8bsZd
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) February 3, 2021
Three CDC researchers wrote in a Jan. 26 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that evidence on coronavirus spread from the fall semester was “reassuring.” (RELATED: Dr. Fauci Said To Reopen Schools, And Close Bars — But Major School Districts Continue To Stay Closed)
“There has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission,” the researchers said. Another CDC study found that only 7 out of 191 coronavirus cases among 17 Wisconsin schools were linked to in-school transmission.
Still, teachers’ unions have pushed back against plans to reopen. Despite evidence that virtual learning was causing students to fall behind, teachers’ unions and city leaders in Washington, D.C., stalled school reopening for several months, according to a Washington Post report. A Chicago teachers’ union also voted to defy reopening plans, demanding that schools remain closed until all teachers have been vaccinated.