Biden reframes goal on reopening of elementary schools

Biden reframes goal on reopening of elementary schools
President Joe Biden stands on stage during a break in a televised town hall event at Pabst Theater, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in Milwaukee. Source: AP Photo
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: President Joe Biden is promising a majority of elementary schools will be open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in the White House, restating his goal after his administration came under fire when aides said schools would be considered open if they held in-person learning just one day a week.

The US president’s comments marked his clearest statement yet on school reopenings. In December, Biden had pledged to reopen “the majority of our schools” in his first 100 days in office but has since faced increasing questions about how he would define and achieve that goal, with school districts operating under a patchwork of different in-person and virtual learning arrangements nationwide.

President Biden said: “I said open a majority of schools in K through eighth grade, because they’re the easiest to open, the most needed to be open in terms of the impact on children and families having to stay home.”

He said comments by Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, earlier this month that one day a week of in-person learning would meet his goal were “a mistake in the communication.”

Asked when the US would see kindergarten through eighth grades back to in-person learning five days a week, the president said, “We’ll be close to that at the end of the first 100 days.”

Mr Biden said he expected many elementary schools would push to stay open through the summer, but suggested reopening would take longer for high schools due to a higher risk of contagion among older students.

You may read: Trump attacks “dour” leader McConnell