Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday withdrew her earlier-this-week threat to withhold federal funds from schools not reopening for in-person classes this fall, saying parents should retain the funds instead. , after President Trump put pressure on schools. to reopen
On Tuesday, DeVos told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he was “very serious” about withholding federal funds from schools that would not physically reopen this fall, after Trump threatened to cut federal funds and pressure the Centers to the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change its guidelines, which it called “very harsh”, “impractical” and “expensive”.
When asked Thursday if he still supports the President’s proposal to withdraw federal funds, DeVos told Sandra Smith of Fox News: “American investment in education is a promise to our students and families and if schools are not to reopen, We are not suggesting withdrawing funds from education, but instead allowing families to take that money and find out where they can educate their children if their schools refuse to open. “
Politico noted that DeVos’ language could indicate the administration’s intention to use school vouchers, a controversial proposal that Democrats in Congress long opposed.
The administration has limited ability to reduce allocations approved by Congress and, as Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) explained Thursday, “DeVos does not have the authority to place this condition on funds under current law, and does not we intend to give him such authority. “
In addition, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, said in a statement: “Unless Congress has given the Secretary a bribery fund, she cannot unilaterally decide to change the prerogatives of Congress.”
DeLauro, who chairs the House panel that oversees education funding, added that DeVos, an advocate for school choice, “has always used words like” choice “,” freedom “and, in this case,” allowing families to discover where their children can be educated, “to describe their fixation with the implementation of systems that divert resources from public schools to obtain coupons and other privatization schemes.”
The administration’s push for the reopening of schools has been widely seen as a strategy to boost the economy before the election and by some politicians, such as the president of the House Committee on Education, Bobby Scott (Democrat of Virginia) They have argued that Trump’s drive to “reopen prematurely.” Schools ignore health experts and are “dangerous.”
“Please do not, under any circumstances, seek the medical advice of Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos, especially when it comes to the health of your children,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the United States. United States on CNN “New Day.” She explained that she once taught 39 sixth-graders in a classroom with a window and that it was a “gulture factory.” She said she knew she would catch someone’s cold every year. “This is different. This is a virus that kills people and Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos are making fun of the danger,” Garcia said. “I doubly dare that Donald Trump sits in a class of 39 sixth graders and breathe in that air without any preparation on how we are going to bring our children back safely. ”
Presidential candidate Joe Biden has made his opinion of DeVos’ leadership very clear.
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