White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked what President Joe Biden's goal was for having students return to in-person teaching. Biden has pledged action to reopen schools quickly and in a safe manner, though his top staff has thrown support behind teacher unions who have shifted goalposts on going back to school.
"His goal that he set is to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by day 100 of his presidency. And that means some teaching in classrooms. So at least one day a week, hopefully, it’s more. And obviously, it is as much as is safe in each school and local district," Pskai said.
"Well, you say some teaching, that’s — you didn’t use the same majority qualifier there. You just have to have some teaching in school — some teachers in school, not the majority of teachers in school and the majority of classrooms," Axios reporter Hans Nichols asked.
"Well, teaching at least one day a week in the majority of schools by day 100...In-person teaching," Pskai reiterated.
Studies have repeatedly shown that not only are schools not epicenters for outbreaks of COVID-19, but all or mostly remote learning is detrimental for students' mental health and education.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain defended the Chicago Teachers Union, along with others across the country, in January after they continued to resist teaching children in the classroom despite what the studies have shown.
"I don’t think unions are overruling studies. I think what you’re seeing is schools that haven’t made the investments to keep the students safe. I mean, again, the Wisconsin city where classrooms of 12 on average. So, that requires a lot more classrooms, a lot more teachers, or, you know, other kinds of arrangements to get them small, plotting students very carefully," Klain told CNN.