White House press secretary Jen Psaki said parents shouldn’t be satisfied with schools reopening one day a week, after doubling down on that as the
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said parents shouldn’t be satisfied with schools reopening one day a week, after doubling down on that as the White House goal for the 100th day in office.
Asked why parents should be satisfied with sending their kids to school one day per week, Psaki replied, “They shouldn’t be. I wouldn’t be as a parent, and I am a parent, I should say. I have two young kids.”
Psaki said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release new guidelines for school reopening on Friday. The agency released guidelines for school reopenings in September under the Trump administration.
PSAKI SAYS SCHOOLS WITH IN-PERSON LEARNING ‘AT LEAST ONE DAY A WEEK’ COUNT AS REOPENED
“The president wants schools to open safely and in accord with science and we are going to listen to science and medical expert,” Psaki said, adding that Biden “will not rest” until every school is open five days a week.
After months of President Biden promising to have schools open by his 100th day in office, Psaki detailed the specifics of that goal – a majority of schools, over 50%, would be open at least one day per week.
“Certainly, we are not planning to celebrate at 100 days if we reach that goal,” Psaki said when pressed about it on Wednesday. “We certainly hope to build from that.”
“That is not the ceiling, that is the bar we are trying to leap over,” the press secretary added.
PSAKI DOUBLES DOWN ON WH GOAL OF SCHOOLS REOPENING ONE DAY A WEEK
Asked if Biden thought schools that were already open were being unsafe, Psaki said: “One of the challenges we have is that the data is not great – as it relates to schools that are open or not open, how hybrid learning is impacting kids.”
But according to Burbio’s school reopening tracker, the White House goal was reached months ago – about 64% of schools already offer some sort of in-person learning.
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Psaki denied that a majority of schools are already reopened in some fashion. Burbio aggregates data from over 1,200 school districts throughout the country, including the 200 largest districts, in every state of the U.S. It measures traditional in-person, hybrid and virtual learning.
The White House has pressed the need for more funding to reopen schools safely, in pushing for Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package to be passed by Congress.
The proposal includes $350 billion for state and local governments, to be divvied up among helping keep frontline workers employed and aid with vaccine distribution, COVID-19 testing, reopening of schools, and “maintaining other vital services.”