Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Trump says he disagrees with CDC guidelines for safely reopening schools

July 8, 2020
The president also threatens to cut off funding to schools that do not abide by his wishes to reopen.

President Donald Trump says he disagrees with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for safely reopening schools, calling the recommendations "very tough" and "expensive." 

CNN reports the president also threatened to cut off funding to schools that do not reopen, though the bulk of public school funding comes from state and local governments.

"I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools," Trump tweeted. "While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!"

The CDC's guidelines encourage hygiene, the use of cloth face coverings, and staying home when appropriate. It also suggests staggered scheduling, a back-up staffing plan, modified seating layouts to allow social distancing, physical barriers and closing of communal spaces.

Trump, who has advocated for reopening states despite surging coronavirus cases, has said he would pressure governors to reopen schools.

Most funding for America's schools comes from the state and local level -- over 90%, according to the Department of Education.

Educators and administrators have called on the federal government to supplement funding for personal protective equipment and other resources, such as additional school buses, to reconfigure classrooms in order to safely reopen.

The Trump administration could issue an interim final rule to block funding enacted in the March CARES Act for schools that don't reopen. The law provided $13 billion for school districts to cover Covid-19 costs. But going that route to block the funding administratively would undoubtedly lead to a court battle.

Republicans in the Senate are planning to unveil a stimulus bill that includes federal spending to reopen schools and childcare facilities, and haven't settled on a price tag yet. But it could be more than $30 billion for school districts -- which superintendents have called for -- to cover the costs of reopening and ensuring their schools can deal with measures to limit the spread of the virus.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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