Tags: Coronavirus | Education | Trump Administration | lamar alexander | federal | funding | schools

Sen. Lamar Alexander: Federal Gov Must Provide Funds for Schools to Reopen

lamar alexander looks up as he speaks to the media
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. (Tom Williams/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 June 2020 05:02 PM

Schools need financial assistance from the federal government if they are going to reopen and hold classes in-person this fall, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Tuesday.

"The surest step back to normalcy in our country is when 70-75 million college and high school and elementary school students go back to school," Alexander told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "If we need more money for that, I'm for that."

Last month, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provided grants worth $13.5 billion to K-12 through an Education Stabilization Fund, along with additional funding for higher education institutes. Alexander said schools need more funding for busing, personal protective equipment and testing for the coronavirus.

"We should spend that money for schools and for colleges," he said.

Alexander, a former U.S. Secretary of Education, added schools can become "among the safest little communities" with adequate planning. 

"What you have to do to manage this disease we know. Distance, masks, are two of the things that you have to do, and washing your hands," the senator said. 

He added schools that do experience an outbreak could be shut down for weeks at a time to contain the virus.

"You don't close the whole school system, you close that school, so that's why we need widespread testing, particularly of the teachers and the older people in the school," he said.  

"There is a risk of going back to school," Alexander admitted. "In my view, there is a greater risk of not going back to school and the damage it will do to the children, and to the parents and to the economy."

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If they are going to reopen and hold classes in-person this fall, schools need financial assistance from the federal government, according to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
lamar alexander, federal, funding, schools, reopen
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 05:02 PM
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