Warner legislation would block Trump from forcing schools to reopen
President Trump is trying to force schools across the country to reopen by threatening to cut funding to local school districts that decide against opening for in-person instruction on time.
Legislation from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) would block the administration from being able to do that.
The bill would prohibit the promulgation of any federal regulation, guidance, or policy that requires in-person instruction during this public health crisis. It clarifies that the Secretary of Education cannot compel in-person instruction during an emergency as declared by a federal, state, or local authority, with respect to COVID-19.
The legislation would apply to any program for which the Secretary of Education has administrative responsibility under the General Education Provisions Act.
“The decision to reopen schools should be informed by local health figures and determined by community health officials, parents and teachers,” said Sen. Warner. “Instead of working to support such efforts during this global pandemic, President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are blindly pressuring schools all across the country to make decisions that may put students, teachers, and families at risk. This bill makes it clear that the Administration has no legal authority to cut critical education funding during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Full text of the bill is available here.