President Trump wants school reopenings to happen in the fall, and he is pushing hard to make it happen.
The president says that a full return to on-site school is essential to America’s continued economic recovery. Additionally, he’s making the issue one of his top priorities. “It’s very important for the wellbeing of the student and the parents,” Trump told reporters at a White House press conference. “So we’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall.”
Earlier in the week, President Trump was highly critical of the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines for school reopenings. He called the CDC guidelines “very tough & expensive” in a Wednesday Twitter post and criticized the organization for “asking schools to do very impractical things. The Trump administration said later that the CDC will release new guidelines next week to alleviate some of the president’s concerns. However, the issue is far from resolved.
Why In-Class Instruction Is Necessary
The White House hosted a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the reinstatement of in-school learning. Dr. Sally Gorza, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, attended the press conference alongside President Trump. She also emphasized the importance of resuming in-class instruction. “Children get much more than an education at school. Being away from peers, teachers, and school services has lasting effects for children,” Dr. Gorza sai. “Although this will not be easy, pediatricians strongly advocate that we start with the goal of having students physically present in school this fall.”
Dr. Gorza also explained why school learning is so essential to the educational process. “Students who are in school learn more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. They also learn social and emotional skills, get healthy meals and exercise, and mental health support,” she said. “Schools help identify and address learning deficits, physical abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. These are all critical reasons to get children back to school.”
School Reopenings and Employment
Trump also wants students to go back to school so their parents can go to work. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the country to reclaim its pre-pandemic employment numbers. An administration official told Fox News that the president’s goal is to work “hand in hand” with local governments in order to reopen schools in the fall.
The president says Democrats like his presidential opponent, Joe Biden, are dragging their feet on school reopening in order to undermine his chances at re-election. “Corrupt Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to open schools in the Fall for political reasons, not for health reasons!” he said in a Tuesday afternoon tweet. “They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!”
Last month, the Biden campaign released its own plan to reopen schools. This plan included significant funding increases for schools and teachers. However, it’s no surprise that the Democratic plan includes massive expenditures for schools, given the party’s close ties with teacher unions across the country.
The Democrats and Trump’s mainstream media adversaries are doing their best to craft a narrative that portrays the president’s push to reopen schools as dangerous and irresponsible. However, there is significant evidence to support Trump’s views. Medical and educational experts both agree that classroom learning is a fundamental component of the educational process, so school reopenings happening in a timely manner makes sense from both a health and economic perspective.
No is arguing that kids need to get back to school eventually. However, the debate over how governments should approach school reopenings is likely to be a major issue on the campaign trail.