White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Friday dismissed the difficulties surrounding getting students back into classrooms this fall as coronavirus cases continue to rise in many states and the school year nears.
“Just go back to school, we can do that,” Kudlow told reporters. “And you know, you can social distance, you can get your temperature taken, you can be tested, you can have distancing — come on, it’s not that hard.”
Kudlow’s comments seemed to run counter to President Donald Trump’s dissatisfaction with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on reopening schools, which the President slammed on Wednesday as “very tough and expensive.” Trump also threatened to cut off federal funding for schools if they don’t open in the fall, the latest stress for schools already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
While the CDC has released guidance to schools on how to safely bring children back into the classroom, the administration has said most of the decision making will be left up to local districts — suggesting there will be a piecemeal approach to how children across the nation will be educated in the fall. Congress has so far passed about $30 billion in aid for schools to deal with coronavirus — about $13 billion of which went to K-12 institutions. But educators say billions more will be needed to pay for things like masks, cleaning supplies, handwashing stations and possibly more staff to conduct temperature checks, and Congress is still trillions of dollars apart on another stimulus package to respond to the pandemic.
Adding to the concern over funding is Trump’s threat to limit federal support for schools that don’t reopen over Covid-19 fears.
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