schools

Trump’s campaign to open schools provokes mounting backlash even from GOP

President Donald Trump has been on a rampage against public schools and colleges all week, threatening to use the power of the federal government to strong-arm officials into reopening classrooms.

But his effort is now creating a backlash: An overwhelming alignment of state and even Republican-aligned organizations oppose the rush to reopen schools. The nation’s leading pediatricians, Republican state school chiefs, Christian colleges and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all challenged parts of Trump’s pressure campaign.

“Threats are not helpful,” Joy Hofmeister, the Republican state superintendent of public instruction in Oklahoma, told POLITICO on Friday. “We do not need to be schooled on why it’s important to reopen.”

Both Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have issued federal funding threats to schools that don’t fully reopen. On Friday, Trump went a step further in blasting online learning — which many school districts and colleges are planning to use

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Trump campaign to open schools provokes mounting backlash even from GOP

President Donald Trump has been on a rampage against public schools and colleges all week, threatening to use the power of the federal government to strong-arm officials into reopening classrooms.

But his effort is now creating a backlash: An overwhelming alignment of state and even Republican-aligned organizations oppose the rush to reopen schools. The nation’s leading pediatricians, Republican state school chiefs, Christian colleges and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all challenged parts of Trump’s pressure campaign.

“Threats are not helpful,” Joy Hofmeister, the Republican state superintendent of public instruction in Oklahoma, told POLITICO on Friday. “We do not need to be schooled on why it’s important to reopen.”

Both Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have issued federal funding threats to schools that don’t fully reopen. On Friday, Trump went a step further in blasting online learning — which many school districts and colleges are planning to use

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Doctors, teachers reject Trump’s pressure to reopen U.S. schools

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Groups representing the nation’s doctors, teachers and top school officials on Friday pushed back against pressure from President Donald Trump to fully reopen U.S. schools despite a surge in coronavirus cases, saying science must guide the decisions.

“Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics,” the American Academy of Pediatrics, two national teachers’ unions and a school superintendents’ group said, following days of threats by Trump to choke off federal education funds if schools do not open their doors for the upcoming academic year.

“We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it,” AAP, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the School Superintendents Association said in a joint statement.

Their call was echoed by

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Framingham Schools, Health Board To Discuss Fall Reopening

FRAMINGHAM, MA — The Framingham School Committee and the Board of Health will meet on July 15 to begin talks on how to safely reopen schools this fall with coronavirus still lurking in Massachusetts.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on June 25 released a long-awaited plan for sending students back to school amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the plan is only advisory, with DESE leaving school districts across the state to create individualized reopening plans.

DESE is asking each district by August to submit three plans for reopening: one for a complete return to in-person learning; a second for a hybrid of in-person and remote learning; and a 100 percent remote learning plan.

But districts across the state are cautious about a full return to school due lingering questions about coronavirus — like how it spreads among young people, and how quickly a vaccine will be

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Big Ten schools to only play conference games; CDC won’t rewrite school guidelines; Florida sees record death total

Florida saw an alarming increase in deaths and top federal health officials ran counter to President Donald Trump’s wishes, saying guidelines for reopening schools won’t be rewritten and some states should consider shutting down again as coronavirus cases spike nationwide Thursday.

The Big Ten announced it will limit its fall sports to only conference games, impacting several significant scheduled football games. The ACC pushed the start of its season back to Sept. 1.

Florida reported 120 deaths – almost 50% more than the previous one-day high of 83 in late April – as the state surpassed 4,000 deaths. Nationwide, the Johns Hopkins data dashboard reported a one-day total of 820 U.S. deaths and a near-record 58,601 new cases.

“Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “The

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CDC won’t revise guidelines for opening schools; deaths surge in California, Texas; Trump again blames testing

Federal health guidelines for reopening schools across the nation will not be altered despite complaints from President Donald Trump that they are too difficult and expensive, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence had said Wednesday that the CDC would next week issue “a new set of tools, five different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward.” Documents, yes, new guidelines, no, Redfield told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also stressed that guidelines are not requirements.

“Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to basically aid communities in trying to open K-through-12s,” Redfield said. “It’s not a revision of the guidelines.”

Also Thursday, President Trump again defended the nation’s booming number of coronavirus cases as a function of testing.

“For the 1/100th time, the reason we show so

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Coronavirus spike jeopardizes opening of schools, L.A. County’s top health official warns

Cerritos Elementary School Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz, left, shows her Glendale campus to L.A. County schools Supt. Debra Duardo. School districts statewide face decisions on how and when to reopen their campuses. <span class="copyright">(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Cerritos Elementary School Principal Perla Chavez-Fritz, left, shows her Glendale campus to L.A. County schools Supt. Debra Duardo. School districts statewide face decisions on how and when to reopen their campuses. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The pending reopening of K-12 campuses is suddenly at risk because of the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases, and all public and private schools must prepare for students to continue learning entirely from home, Los Angeles County’s top public health official has told local education leaders.

This sobering message was delivered by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, in what she termed an “off the record” phone call Tuesday afternoon with district superintendents and others that was not intended for the media or the public. The Times obtained a recording of the call.

“Every single school district at this point needs to have plans in place to continue distance learning for 100% of

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Trump pushes state, local leaders to reopen schools in fall

President Donald Trump launched an all-out effort pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, arguing that some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons.

“They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” Trump said Tuesday at a White House discussion on school plans for the fall. “No way. We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.”

The White House’s round-table gathered health and education leaders from across the nation who said schools and colleges are ready to open this fall and can do so safely. They argued that the risks of keeping students at home outweigh any risks tied to the coronavirus, saying students need access to meal programs and mental and behavioral health services.

“We want to reopen the schools,”

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School District Opts To Reopen Schools, Make Face Masks Mandatory

TAMPA, FL — The Hillsborough County superintendent of schools has announced that students and staff returning to public schools on Aug. 10 will be required to wear face masks.

After meeting with health officials, business leaders, teachers and school administrators, Superintendent Addison Davis said he believes masks are the best option at this time for keeping students and staff safe from the spread of the coronavirus on campus.

The district will provide three reusable face coverings for each student on the first day of school and three reusable face coverings for each staff member during back-to-school pre-planning.

“The CDC has identified face masks as one of the most effective tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Davis said. “I believe face coverings is the best option we have for providing additional protection for everyone on our campuses.”

He said the county has already acquired 760,000 masks through purchases and donations.

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Drug could be ready by summer’s end; Florida orders ‘brick and mortar’ schools to open; 130,000 US deaths

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 130,000 but a U.S. pharmaceutical company says it could have initial doses of a drug ready by the end of summer that could treat or even prevent COVID-19.

A $450 million federal contract awarded Regeneron Pharmaceuticals could help get the drug to “many people quickly, hopefully helping to change the course of this deadly and still-raging pandemic,” the company said in a statement.

The news comes as confirmed cases surge across most of the U.S. – Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is “still knee-deep in the first wave of this.” Arizona is one hot spot: The state surpassed 100,000 cases Monday, and more than 62,000 of the 101,441 reported cases involve people younger than 44, state officials said.

In Florida, another hot spot, the fall semester begins next month for public schools. The state’s education chief ordered school boards to “open brick

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