Republicans on the House Oversight Committee penned a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, inquiring about the legality of blanket orders that demand schools not reopen.
One-size-fits all orders preventing schools from reopening is an abuse of power and disregards efforts taken by schools to safely reopen. We should make every effort to safely reopen schools so parents are empowered to make the best decision for their children.— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) August 13, 2020
The GOP lawmakers point to the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, that both recognize the importance of in-person learning:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the importance of in person education, and that ‘the harms attributed to closed schools on the social, emotional, and behavioral health, economic well being, and academic achievement of children, in both the short and long-term, are well-known and significant,’” the letter reads. “The CDC also notes that low-income, minority children, and those living with disabilities are particularly at risk to the harms presented by closed schools. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that ‘all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.’”
The Trump administration is firmly in favor of reopening schools safely, for the long-term well being of students. Sec. DeVos said on Wednesday that a “one-size fits all” strategy is the wrong approach to dealing with the safe reopening of schools.