Trump’s most recent back and forth with school officials took over growing urgency to the White House and the campaign of the President you believe in reconstruction the economy decimated by the coronavirus – which can only happen if working parents have childcare and can return to work – may be his best chance of winning re-election.
And with just over three months since election day, as the pandemic worsens in more than half of states, Trump is lagging behind alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden in most national polls and battlefield states. Its position has even fallen into traditionally red states.
But most polls still show that Americans trust Trump for Biden in running the economy, even though these numbers have also started to drop. Some allies also believe that the push for in-person learning can play well with the women and suburban voters that the president must remain in office.
“He is desperate to reopen the economy for the elections. He knows you can̵
Trump blew up Democrats for closing schools, saying they were trying to hurt him politically and prompted his own administration to revise its guidelines to encourage school openings because it says children are less likely to get sick or pass on the virus. Public health experts say that children are still vulnerable and that many aspects of the virus are still unknown
However, Trump and his collaborators continued to push the reopening of schools in speeches, interviews and social media. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos flew to North Carolina to visit a reopened private school to urge other schools to do the same.
“We have to remember that there is another aspect of this, keeping them out of school and keeping work closed is also causing death, economic damage but death for several reasons,” Trump said in a press conference Thursday. “But death, probably more death.”
While the president once threatened to cut funds if schools did not offer learning in person, he acknowledged that some schools could remain closed in his most written comments from the White House podium and asked Congress for over $ 100 billion. for school districts. Senate Republicans propose to give more money to schools that offer learning in person, but Democrats have given up on that proposal.
Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y), who supports Trump, dismissed the president’s previous comments on funding, saying it was clear this week that she claims to provide schools with the money they need to reopen in person.
“What we only know online [learning] is that it didn’t work for a large number of our students, especially those with special needs and disabilities, “he said.” And we have a responsibility … to make sure we meet the needs of those students. “
Trump drew back his most belligerent threats after American school districts, large and small – even in some republican states led by Republican allies – challenged him.
Los Angeles and San Diego have announced that they will practically start the school year. So Houston did it. So Miami-Dade joined two other large districts of South Florida by opting for online learning on Wednesday. And the next day, Washington, DC reversed course and joined the larger districts of nearby Virginia and Maryland to keep the doors closed.
So far, 11 of the nation’s 15 largest districts have announced that they will keep students at home in the fall, affecting nearly three million students, according to Education Week. Almost every district that allows in-person learning plans to do so only part-time.
Elsie Arntzen, Republican elected superintendent of public education in Montana, said she applauded Trump for his attention to learning and for bringing life back to normal, but that his state’s school districts are making their own decisions.
“We are very independent and appreciate local control,” he said. “Any kind of word in a warrant, any kind of statement to say” Montana you must and must “is extremely inspiring … One size is not good for everyone.”
School officials also say they don’t believe Trump’s threat. Only Congress has the authority to withhold federal funding, most of which goes to schools in low-income and special education areas.
Trump now suggests that if public schools are closed, money should be given to parents for use in a private educational institution. A group of states have sued the administration for its push to use money in a previous coronavirus bill for private schools.
“The threat to withhold federal funds is bullying and, like all forms of bullying, it is unacceptable,” said Michael Rice, Michigan Superintendent of Public Instructions.
State and local officials are not alone in rejecting. Trump has faced stiff opposition from teachers, unions and parents who worry about soaring infections if schools don’t get enough money to reopen with social distances. Teachers in some states can also move forward strike.
And the president who is withdrawing from his demands – as he has done elsewhere on the reopening of states, the republican convention and a host of other issues – could be driven in part by a backlash in the polls.
53% of voters said they were in some way or strongly opposed to the complete reopening of K-12 schools or kindergarten, according to a recent POLITICAL / Morning Consult survey.
“You are seeing inconsistency on the part of the president depending on the audience he is facing,” said President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten.
Biden, who is largely trying to make the race a referendum on Trump’s response to the coronavirus, has started criticizing him for not providing the money and resources needed to open schools and has published his plan to reopen schools in security when ready – and not before.
Former North Carolina governor Jim Hunt, a Biden supporter who is considered a national education expert, said Trump is injuring schools in an attempt to tell them what to do. “We have to trust local people to make those decisions and we have to stand behind them, not threaten them,” he said.
This week, the Democratic National Committee started airing a new announcement in the states of the battlefield criticizing Trump’s push to open schools following the criticisms that had initially downplayed the coronavirus, failed to quickly produce tests and supplies and then prompted states to reopen soon.
“Do you trust him to do the best for our children?” asks the narrator. “Because this isn’t a test. Trump is failing. “