Back to school; back to quarantine

President Trump has been pushing since July for schools to reopen. Among those that have, some are already shutdown due to coronavirus outbreaks.

schools opened, then closed

A growing number of schools nationwide are closing–either temporarily or longer term– just days after reopening as coronavirus outbreaks among students and faculty emerge.

Schools in states that include Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Georgia sent thousands back into quarantine and online instruction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics

The AAP came out with a statement on reopenings that said, among other things, that schools should try to get students back into classrooms this fall. President Trump used the statement to push for all public schools to open fully for the 2020-21 academic year.

The AAP openly disagreed with the White House, however, issuing a follow-up statement that qualified their suggestion by adding that each school should “pursue reopening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff.”

AAP President Sally Goza emphasized the need for funding: “Reopening schools in a way that maximizes safety, learning, and the well-being of children will clearly require new investments in our schools. We urge you to ensure that schools receive the resources necessary so that funding does not stand in the way of keeping our children safe or present at school.”

President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have threatened to cut funding from school districts that don’t reopen fully.

teachers are designated “essential workers” by the Department of Homeland Security

The White House formally declared teachers to be “essential workers” as part of an effort to push schools to reopen. Most people who’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are advised to quarantine, but–with the new designation–teachers that are exposed to coronavirus but show no symptoms can return to classrooms.

Essential workers are those that work areas that are essential to continue critical infrastructure operations and who are expected to show up for their jobs even during shutdowns.

Should we reopen our schools? Is it worth the risk? Tim and Laura debate it here.

Geek out on newest nationwide coronavirus data here.


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