At the same time, Betsy DeVos said that school districts and states should develop their plans to open schools taking into account the local situation.
US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressed support for the administration’s desire to open schools by the fall.
“We know that children are infected with the virus much less often than any other part of the population. Nothing in the available data shows that returning children to school is dangerous for them,” DeVos said, speaking on the “State of the country” program on CNN.
She did not go into detail about what recommendations her Ministry would make about opening schools amid the growing number of coronavirus cases across the country.
DeVos also didn’t see much threat of infection through the children of their parents, grandparents, or guardians.
When asked whether schools should follow the recommendations of the Federal Centers for disease control and prevention, which President Donald Trump recently criticized for being too rigid, DeVos said that every school building is unique, as is every school contingent.
The Minister’s speech drew an immediate reaction from democratic house speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called the Trump administration’s approach to open schools dangerous.
“What we have heard from the Minister can be described as official misconduct and dereliction of duty,” Pelosi told CNN. ” Going back to school poses the greatest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. If there are recommendations from the Centers for disease control and prevention, they should become requirements.”
In a situation where the economy is going through difficult times ahead of the presidential election in November, in which he is seeking re-election, Trump is putting pressure on States to reopen businesses and schools. On Friday, he said that the Treasury Department would review the preferential tax status for schools and their Federal funding if they do not resume full-time classes.
However, after many states relaxed their coronavirus restrictions, the virus found new footholds. According to Reuters, since the beginning of July, 24 states have reported an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases.
While acknowledging that the Department of Education does not have its plans for safe school openings that the Agency could promote, DeVos emphasized several times that each school district and state should develop their strategies based on local data on infection rates.