WASHINGTON – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is downplaying the risk of sending kids back to school despite surging coronavirus cases in many parts of the U.S.
During Sunday TV interviews, DeVos stressed that kids attending school in the fall should be the rule, not the exception.
She asserted that “there’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.”
But she was contradicted by public health experts who said the virus can still be dangerous to kids, even if the risk is lower. Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, said on “Fox News Sunday” that science is also unclear on how much kids can spread the disease to more vulnerable adults.
DeVos said the Trump administration is looking at “all the options” for pulling funding from schools if they don’t provide full-time in person learning, calling American investment in education “a promise to students and their families.”
She described Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for keeping schools safe, such as face coverings and social distancing, as “guidelines” meant to be flexible.
Last week, the Texas Education Agency issued guidance for school districts as the state continues to see an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Parents can choose to send their children to full-time on-campus or remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. Students will be able to switch formats at the end of grading periods.
Masks will be mandatory for students older than 10 years old and teachers in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases
You can view the TEA guidelines for the new school year below: