President Donald Trump is doubling down on his threat to pull government funding from public schools unless they reopen in the fall despite the sharp rise in coronavirus cases nationwide.
Two days after he first mentioned the idea of using federal funds as leverage to force schools to reopen, he mentioned it again on Friday.
"Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning. Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall. If not open, why would the Federal Government give Funding? It won't!!!" Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Trump said earlier this week that Democrats are pushing for schools to remain closed and for distance learning to continue for political reasons as he seeks reelection in November. Democrats, education officials, and others have pushed back on that notion.
National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, herself a sixth-grade teacher, said teachers want schools open too, but only when it's safe.
"Educators want nothing more than to be back in classrooms and on college campuses with our students, but we must do it in a way that keeps students, educators, and communities safe," she said.
"The reality is no one should listen to Donald Trump or [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos when it comes to what is best for students. Trump has not once proven credible, compassionate, or thoughtful when it comes to this pandemic."
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