Do you trust Betsy DeVos and Trump, who have no background in public education and sent their own children to private schools, to make sure your children are safe in the midst of a pandemic?
Donald Trump spent much of the last week talking about re-opening public schools in the fall. Apparently his campaign has done polling on the issue and found it could be a winning electoral issue for him.
The catch is that it’s only a winning electoral issue if people actually trust that you can responsibly reopen schools. For that reason, Trump’s PR push is self-defeating—if you were actually the person who was going to responsibly open public schools, you wouldn’t have just started thinking about it in July.
And, perhaps, you wouldn’t make the point person for all of this Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. On CNN’s State of the Union this Sunday, DeVos was asked by host Dana Bash to clarify what public-health experts were telling her about “the appropriate level of transmission for a school before it has to shut down.”
This gets to the big question at the heart of the issue—what’s the plan? Everyone wants schools to reopen. It comes down to whether the conditions on the ground will allow it. Schools aren’t epidemiology labs; they need guidance.
DeVos, though, acted as if she’d just strolled into homeroom and found out there was a test that day:
“Every school should have plans for that situation to be able to pivot and ensure that kids can continue learning, at a distance if they have to for a short period of time,” she said. What’s the plan? The plan is to have plans. It’s a plan plan.
Bash followed up: “Why do you not have guidance…just weeks before you want those schools to reopen,” she wondered, “and what happens if there’s an outbreak?”
“You know, there are really good examples that have been utilized in the private sector and elsewhere, also with front line workers and hospitals, and all of that data and all of those examples can be referenced by school leaders,” DeVos said.
Again, Bash asked DeVos—the Secretary of Education—for specifics. And Again, DeVos stopped short of offering any: “Schools should do what’s right on the ground at that time for their students and for their situation.”
What should they base those plans off of? Maybe someday we’ll find out.
What Can You Do?
- Register to vote if you have not done so.
- Request a mail-in ballot (consider it an insurance policy; you can still choose to vote in person)
- Vote for Joe Biden November 3rd, and remind your friends and family to vote too.
Joe Biden’s Plan For Education
Learn more about Biden’s plan for K-12 education: https://joebiden.com/education/