Yesterday, while the White House was busy walking back its promise to reopen schools, the House Education and Labor Committee Republicans worked to advance commonsense proposals to support school reopenings.
Sadly, Democrats blocked every single amendment that would give students the opportunity to learn in-person.
Democrats have repeatedly chosen to back left wing special interests instead of protecting vulnerable students. While Democrats reject scientific evidence that shows students can return to the classroom safely, they are setting future generations up for failure.
Claims that schools do not have the necessary funding to reopen safely are false. According to the CDC’s highest estimates, the total cost of implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reopen schools safely is approximately $25 billion.
To date, Congress has allocated nearly $70 billion in K-12 funding for coronavirus relief, more than double the CDC’s highest funding estimate.
In other words, Congress has already provided significantly more funding than the CDC says is necessary to reopen schools safely.
So why did Democrats vote against:
Rep. Allen’s (R-GA) amendment requiring K-12 school districts offer in-person instruction if they receive COVID relief funds.
Rep. Murphy’s (R-NC) amendment requiring schools reopen to serve high-risk students if school districts receive COVID relief funds.
Rep. Steel’s (R-CA) amendment requiring schools reopen if teachers have had access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Rep. Miller’s (R-IL) amendment putting COVID relief funds into education savings accounts for parents to use to pay for education if their children’s public schools are closed.
Rep. Good’s (R-VA) amendment to increase transparency of school reopening negotiations between school districts and teachers’ unions.
The science is clear. Congress provided the funding. Yet, children are still stuck learning from behind a screen, which is forcing our youngest and most vulnerable to overcome insurmountable barriers to success.