Opinion President Biden is ensuring that schools have resources to reopen and stay open safely
Joe Biden's CNN Town Hall Transcript in Full—President on Trump, Vaccines and More
President Biden spoke about everything from the end of the pandemic to being "tired of talking about Donald Trump," while answering questions from members of the audience.Biden discussed a range of topics, from when every American will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the end of the pandemic, to being "tired of talking about Donald Trump" while answering questions from Cooper and members of the audience.
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The impact this pandemic has had on students is devastating — with more absences, fewer learning opportunities and more social isolation.
That is why in the first three weeks of his presidency, President Joe Biden has taken immediate action to address this crisis with a clear goal in mind: Get students back to school, in-person learning five days a week as quickly and safely as possible. This is no easy feat, but an evidence-based, urgent approach like the one we are charting can make all the difference.
The battle over schools reopening heats up. What are the facts?
As the Biden administration works to speed up the country's Covid-19 response, reopening schools has become one of the primary benchmarks of recovery. Across the country as vaccines are being administered to essential workers, often including teachers, calls for restarting in-person learning growing more urgent. © Abby Gibbs/AP In Foust Elementary, classrooms are set up to accommodate physical distancing standards on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 in Greensboro, N.C. Between classrooms, are movable walls and dividers since the school was originally integrated with students from multiple grades in one class.
Let’s take a look at some of the actions the president has already taken.
One of the first actions as president was issuing an executive order that asked the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance and recommendations to schools. Last Friday, we released that guidance, and the Education Department will be working closely with educators and schools to help problem-solve and ensure that communities have what they need to implement mitigation strategies.
Let me be clear: Real, evidence-based guidelines, while long overdue, will provide local school districts with the guidance they need to effectively reopen safely.
Majority of K-8 students see some in-class teaching, but it's hard to track
CBS News contacted all 50 state education boards and found only a handful of states tracking school instruction methods on a daily or weekly basis. Eight of the 29 states that replied say they don't track which schools are teaching in-person or virtually, and at least one suggested it would be a waste of time.
We also still do not know the full scope of impact that this COVID-19 pandemic has had on our schools and students. There is patchwork data on the status of in-person learning, but even that lacks the data needed to understand just how students are learning during this pandemic.
President Biden has asked the Department of Education to collect this important data, so that we can finally make evidence-based policy decisions to ensure that we not only get our kids back to school safely, but that we are also addressing the issues they are facing in this pandemic.
Last, the president has laid out $130 billion in his American Rescue Plan that would provide essential resources to not only help schools implement mitigation strategies, but also help schools and educators address the social emotional and mental health needs of students — as well as extended learning time and strategies to address learning loss. This funding will be critical for our future; we need Congress to act.
This is no small task. That’s why the president is taking a whole-of-government approach to ensure that we’re providing schools resources to reopen and stay open safely. The actions to date speak to a real way to get our students back to learning in-person as quickly and as safely as possible.
Jessica Cardichon is the deputy assistant secretary of Education for K-12.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Biden heads out of D.C. for town hall and first major presidential trip .
President Biden took his message to Milwaukee, attempting to move past former president Donald Trump’s impeachment and sell his own agenda. But even as he tries a return to normalcy, Biden’s events are heavily restricted by the pandemic. Speaking at a CNN town hall, Biden pledged that any American who wants a vaccine will have access to one by the end of July. He said he wanted many elementary and middle schools to be open five days a week by the end of April. And he said that "by next Christmas, I think we'll be in a very different circumstance.