Donald Trump: We ‘May Cut Off Funding’ if Schools Do Not Reopen

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with students, teachers and administrators about how to safely re-open schools during the novel coronavirus pandemic in the East Room at the White House July 07, 2020 in Washington, DC. As the number of COVID-19 cases surge across southern states …
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President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to “cut off” funding to schools if they do not reopen in the Fall after closing due to coronavirus concerns.

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS,” Trump said.

“The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families,” he continued. “May cut off funding if not open!”

Trump also said he disagrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools.”

“While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things,” he said. “I will be meeting with them!!!”

He outlined a similar line of thinking Monday.

“Corrupt Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to open schools in the Fall for political reasons, not for health reasons! They think it will help them in November,” he said. “Wrong, the people get it!”

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told Fox News on Tuesday that her department was “seriously considering” action to withhold funds from schools that did not reopen in the Fall.

The Trump administration reportedly aims to work with local governments to reopen schools in the Fall — a move the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has “strongly” advocated.

“The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020,” the AAP said in its pitch for an in-person 2020-2021 academic year, contending that the virus behaves “differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses, such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based”:

Although children and adolescents play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks, to date, this does not appear to be the case with SARS-CoV-2. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe disease resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home.

“The CDC never recommended school closures because they didn’t believe that was an effective strategy,” a senior administration official said, echoing the AAP.

The official said that the administration’s goal is to “to work hand-in-hand with local jurisdictions to make sure to see the best ways to reopen schools in a safe way, and get back to where we would have really preferred to have been in spring, which is to have an active educational component available to the students,” according to Fox News.

Florida has taken a major step in reopening schools. Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran signed an executive order Monday requiring “brick and mortar schools” to reopen this year. School districts are to submit reopening plans, which “must be consistent with safety precautions as defined by the Florida Department of Health, local health officials, and supportive of Floridians, young and adult, with underlying conditions that make them medically vulnerable.”

Education “is critical to the success of the state and to an individual, and extended school closures can impede educational success of students, impact families’ well-being, and limit many parents and guardians from returning to work,” the order stated, stressing that the need for in-person learning goes beyond academics alone.

“Schools provide many services to students that are critical to the well-being of students and families, such as nutrition, socialization, counseling, and extra-curricular activities,” it added.

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