The Biden administration’s definition to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic has been defended by Jen Psaki, the Press Secretary of White House on Wednesday.
Psaki’s defense was followed by criticism that resuming some in-person teaching for at least one day per week in the country’s 50 % of schools for not setting a higher bar that is required.
Biden’s School Reopening Goal Receives Psaki’s Defense As Well As Wide Criticism
Since Biden pledges to reopen the schools across the country after the White House added fine print to his promise it was clarified that a complete reopening is still not possible in the country.
The president received many accusations of backpedaling on his school reopen pledge.
It was in December he made a promise that the majority of the schools in the U.S will be reopened before he reaches the 100th day of his administration. Later in January, he specified that his goal is just applied to schools that teach through 8th grade.
However, a statement from the White House last week said that as long as the schools teach in-person at least one day a week, those will be considered as open.
Psaki defended this and called it part of an agenda that is bold and ambitious. She also remarked that this is a bar that the administration hopes to exceed.
There is no planning held for any celebration on the completion of 100 days even if the goal is achieved by the administration, according to Psaki. However, it would be their own effort in setting up new markings by themselves.
Since there have been certain debates going on in the country on the reopening of schools, The White House is facing increased pressure on giving explanations of the goal. Until now, no explanation was given by the president on what it meant to be reopened or how he would reach success. According to Psaki, one day in a week of in-person learning could be enough to meet the goal.
She said that the president aims to have the majority of the schools opened by the 100th day after he came into office. To reach the goal, it is required to conduct some teachings in the classrooms.
Biden also received criticism widely from Republicans telling that he is setting the bar too lower.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader said that the goal is unacceptable since the schools are ready to be reopened.
A representative of the Republican Party, Vicky Hartzler said that the president’s goal is insufficient to meet the needs of the student.
According to Hartzler, it is not a success to get 51% of the nation’s schools reopened by conducting a class a day every week.