Hmm… Let’s do some math.
If 50% of schools open just one day out of five, or 20% of the time, then schools are only 10% open (50% of 20%). Well, that sounds good enough to declare schools as “open,” right? Apparently, that’s the way the Biden administration sees it.
President Biden declared that he would help reopen a majority of K-8 schools during his first 100 days. If you’re a parent or a student, this means the majority of kids would be trudging off to school every day. But not so fast. After getting push back from the very teacher unions that supported his election, Biden has taken a very interesting view of what constitutes “reopened.”
The comments drew criticism from Republicans and some parents, amid growing debate over how to define opening schools. The fresh tension comes as many districts around the country remain in virtual mode amid the winter jump in Covid-19 cases and deaths, the spread of new coronavirus strains, the slow vaccination rollout and clashes between state authorities and teachers’ unions.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the goal was “at least one day a week in the majority of schools, by day 100.” On Wednesday she stressed that this was “not the ceiling, that is the bar we’re trying to leap over and exceed.”
“Certainly, we are not planning to celebrate at 100 days if we reach that goal. That is our own effort to set our own markings, set a bold and ambitious agenda for how we’re going to measure ourselves and progress. But we certainly hope to build from that, even at 100 days.”
Mr. Biden has included $130 billion in funds for K-12 schools in the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan that he has proposed to Congress and that Republicans oppose. The money would go to school districts to pay for reducing class sizes to accommodate social distancing, improving ventilation, hiring more janitors and providing more personal protective equipment.