Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said there’s “no way” schools across the country could reopen this fall because of a lack of federal funding.
“There’s no way that you’re going to have full-time schools for all the kids and all the teachers the way we used to have it,” Weingarten told John Catsimatidis on his AM 770 WABC radio show on Sunday. “Once we have a vaccine, I hope we can get back to that.”
The School Superintendent Association estimated that it would cost an average of $1.8 million per school district to adhere to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reopen this fall.
But, so far, the Trump administration hasn’t said whether additional funds would be available.
“And in doing this, not only is there a [need] for retrofitting, for ventilation systems, but also for buying the damned masks for the cleaning equipment, for the nurses that we’re going to need. That’s why we’ve been pushing really hard … To get the [federal] money that states need… to re-open schools,” Weingarten said.
At a coronavirus briefing last week, Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said reopening schools was essential to students’ well being and mental health.
DeVos, during an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” reemphasized that students must return to their classrooms.
“Kids have got to get back to school,” she said, adding that”kids cannot afford to not continue learning.”
DeVos said it is “not a matter of if” this happens, but “a matter of how.”
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