White House, lawmakers push to get kids back into the classroom

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says he wants to get students across the country back into the classroom.

“We need to provide in-person learning opportunities for all students, 5 days a week, in the fall. I want it now in the spring, but we’ll problem solve with folks,” Cardona said.

Cardona says even when schools are reopened, there is much work to be done to make up for lost time.

“I’m very heartened to hear about your determination in reopening school full time,” said Oklahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole.

Cole says his district offered in-person learning since August and saw better results for those who came into the classroom.

“I think the evidence both medically, for the health of the kids, and educationally is pretty clear,” Cole said.

Washington Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler says there has been significant learning loss and wants to see that change.

“No child is less than any other child, so how do we make sure we catch them up?” Beutler asked.

“We need to do everything to get our students in, everyday they are not in the classroom is a day waster,” Cardona said.

With the possibility for the FDA to approve use of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 12- to 15-years-old, the White House says it is prepared.

“We have the ability to move very, very quickly on a number of fronts,” said White House COVID Task Force Coordinator Andy Slavitt.

Cardona is asking Congress for around $103 billion in next year’s budget, to double funding for schools in need, expand access to Pre-K and increase mental health resources.

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