Mike Pence pushed governors to reopen their schools and cited an economic analysis showing the country would take a $50 billion hit if schools stay closed
Vice President Mike Pence pushed governors to reopen their public schools during a Tuesday call in which he cited the adverse economic impact of school closures. Pence argued that continuing to keep kids at home to help contain the spread of the coronavirus is untenable given the significant negative impacts on learning and mental health, among other concerns. Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, said all schools must reopen this fall and be "fully operational." She condemned districts that are reluctant to fully reopen as the coronavirus surges across the country. Many Democrats, public health experts, and education leaders are critical of the administration's move to quickly bring kids back into schools even as the coronavirus surges in many parts of the country. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Vice President Mike Pence pushed governors to reopen their public schools during a Tuesday call with local leaders in which he cited the adverse economic impact of school closures amid the pandemic. Pence argued that continuing to keep kids at home to help contain the spread of the coronavirus is untenable given the significant negative impacts on learning and mental health, among other concerns. He also cited an economic analysis by the White House's Council of Economic Advisers that he said found the US economy would take a $50 billion hit if all schools remain closed. "I literally saw a data point from the Council of Economic Advisers here at the White House that if every school in America were to close its doors, it would cost the economy $50 billion," Pence said on the call, a recording of which was obtained by Business Insider. Pence cited a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics to resume in-classroom learning across the country. He emphasized that the administration is "here to help" states reopen schools safely by implementing social distancing and other protective measures in the classroom. Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, also made a forceful case for reopening schools during Tuesday's hour long call. "Ultimately, it's not a matter of if schools need to open, it's a matter of how. School must reopen, they must be fully operational," DeVos said. "And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders." DeVos sharply criticized school districts that she said failed to serve students through distance learning this spring. She claimed they "didn't figure out how to serve students or ... just gave up and didn't try." And she condemned proposals to bring students back into classrooms for just two days a week in the fall, calling the idea a "false paradigm." The secretary added that schools "already deal with risk on a daily basis" and mentioned that there are also dangers associated with "learning to ride a bike" and being "shot off in a rocket into space." "We know that risk is embedded in everything we do," DeVos said. "Physical health and safety is a factor, so is mental health ... so is social-emotional development, and, importantly, so are the lost opportunities for students." Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Robert Redfield, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were also on the call and are backing the push to reopen schools. Redfield pointed out on Tuesday that the CDC never recommended schools be closed as a public health measure this spring and said he supports all efforts to reopen schools. In June, the CDC released guidelines on how to reopen schools with new public health precautions. The agency recommends creating more space between students' desks, setting up barriers between sinks in bathrooms, and staggering class schedules, among other suggestions. Azar argued on Tuesday that teachers and other school staff can protect themselves from the virus in the same way health care professionals do — with social distancing and protective equipment. "Health care workers don't get infected because they take appropriate precautions. They engage in social distancing, wear facial covering," Azar said at a Tuesday White House panel. "This can work. You can do all of this, there's no reason schools have to be in any way any different." Many Democrats, public health experts, and education leaders are critical of the administration's move to quickly bring kids back into schools even as the coronavirus surges in many parts of the country. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released a proposal to reopen schools and has argued that Trump's plan doesn't involve sufficient safety precautions. This comes as Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced new regulations that prohibit international students at US colleges from remaining in the country if the schools they attend aren't holding in-person classes. The new rules are forcing colleges to decide between facilitating their students' deportation and opening up their classrooms. The president has claimed repeatedly this week that elected officials and others who oppose school reopenings are doing so for political, not health, reasons. "We don't want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons," Trump said during a White House event he hosted later on Tuesday to discuss schools reopening. "They think it's going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way. So we're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools." SEE ALSO: 5 of the most shocking claims in Mary Trump's scathing tell-all book about the president Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why American sunscreens may not be protecting you as much as European sunscreens
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Education leaders spent months preparing to reopen classrooms. But with online learning set to continue for...Education leaders spent months preparing to reopen classrooms. But with online learning set to continue for millions of students this fall, schools must catch up with reality.
The Maryland county where Barron Trump attends school has ordered private schools to stay closed until October
The Maryland private school that Barron Trump attends will not be permitted to open for in-person...The Maryland private school that Barron Trump attends will not be permitted to open for in-person classes until at least October under a countywide mandate ordering private schools to remain closed. As The New York Times previously reported, St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, previously planned a virtual-only return to class or a hybrid model that would have allowed students in classrooms. President Trump and his administration have for weeks been adamant that schools reopen to students for the upcoming school year despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The Maryland county home to the school attended by President Donald Trump's son, Barron, has ordered private schools to remain closed through the month of September. "Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data," Montgomery County, Maryland, health officer Dr. Travis Gayles said in a Friday press release. "At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers." Gayles said a rise in transmission of the novel coronavirus, particularly among "younger age groups," in Maryland and nearby Washington, DC, and Virginia, led him to order private schools to close. The county's public school system — the fourth largest in the US by per-pupil spending according to the US Census Bureau, announced last month it would complete its entire first semester via virtual-only education. Anyone who is found to have "knowingly and willfully" violated the county's Friday order could be convicted of a misdemeanor, subject to jail time up to one year, and a fine of up to $5,000, according to the press release. In Maryland, have been 89,365 reported cases of the novel coronavirus and 3,374 deaths, according to data from the state Department of Health. Over the past seven days, 4.47% of tests have returned a positive result. Montgomery County accounts for 17,665 of Maryland's reported cases, second to nearby Prince George's County. According to the press release, nonpublic schools include "all private pay schools, schools affiliated with religious institutions, or schools that are otherwise considered to be independent schools." Fox News personality Laura Ingraham chimed in on the decision, tweeting that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the Montgomery County health director should "get ready to be deposed" because of the county's order. Hogan later Saturday tweeted that he "strongly" disagreed with the Montgomery County order. I strongly disagree with Montgomery County’s decision to mandate the closure of private and parochial schools. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/4pESSu93Tj — Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) August 1, 2020 Barron Trump's school had not decided whether to go online-only or to adopt a hybrid approach As The New York Times reported, St. Andrew's Episcopal School, where Barron Trump has attended since his family relocated to the White House, had not yet publicly announced whether students would return to their Potomac, Maryland, school building for in-person instruction. The private school, which is located in the Maryland suburbs of DC and provides K-12 education, had previously said it would make a decision between a hybrid approach or a virtual-only model the week of August 10, according to a statement posted on its website. Robert Kosasky, the head of St. Andrew's, did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment about the county's order Saturday. The president and his administration have for weeks stressed his view that US schools school open to students in the fall for in-person instruction despite a continued rise in reported cases of the virus and an uptick in deaths from the disease. At a press conference last month, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made headlines for telling reporters that "science should not stand in the way" of school reopenings. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has also been an opponent of delaying school openings, saying last month it should be "the rule" for US schools to reopen to students. While the symptoms and side effects of COVID-19 are typically less harmful to children, children can contract the virus and function as asymptomatic carriers, infecting other people, including more vulnerable populations. Later in July, as the Associated Press reported, Trump acknowledged some parts of the country that may have to delay returning students to classrooms "for a few weeks." For districts, that don't reopen, though, he said he would direct Congress to allocate stimulus money meant for schools to parents so they could send their children to a private school. At a press conference Thursday, Trump suggested that keeping schools closed "is causing death also," as CNBC reported. The White House did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment on Saturday.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
Governor Gavin Newsom said public schools will not be allowed to hold in-person classes if their...Governor Gavin Newsom said public schools will not be allowed to hold in-person classes if their county is on a monitoring list California’s governor has announced strict rules for school reopening that would prevent the vast majority of students from returning to classrooms in the fall as coronavirus cases hit their highest levels yet in the state.Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new guidance on Friday, which mandates that public schools in California counties that are on a monitoring list for rising coronavirus infections cannot hold in-person classes, and will have to meet rigorous criteria for reopening. Continue reading...