By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Student in mask and face shield; Creative Commons-NC via Bing
July 12, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The nation’s largest organizations representing teachers, principals, children’s doctors and parents have issued statements strongly criticizing President Donald Trump’s push to reopen schools and his threat to defund schools that don’t fully reopen or rely on online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump fueled the controversy when he tweeted, “Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning. Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall. If not open, why would the Federal Government give Funding? It won’t!!!” The President’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, during news shows today, backed the president’s call to financially punish schools that don’t fully reopen.
On Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics responded by issuing a joint statement with the American Association of Teachers, the National Education Association and the School Superintendents Association. “Withholding funding from schools that do not open in person fulltime would be a misguided approach, putting already financially strapped schools in an impossible position that would threaten the health of students and teachers.”