U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the Biden Administration signaled it was backtracking on the President’s goal of reopening schools within his first 100 days.
Tuesday, the White House Press Secretary defined success as “more than 50 percent of classrooms open by day 100 of his presidency” and defined “open” as merely “some teaching in classrooms at least one day a week.”
“For weeks, the Biden Administration has danced around the important issue of reopening our schools, ignoring the science and refusing to side with parents and children over teachers unions,” Rubio said.
“Today, the Biden Administration once again demonstrated that they have no intention of fulfilling the President’s promise to students and families. Having 50 percent of schools offering in-person instruction one day a week is not what millions of parents and students across the nation think of as schools reopening. This goal ignores the fact that over 50 percent of school districts have already offered a fully in-person or hybrid option for all of the 2020-2021 school year.”
“Instead, it is just more dancing around by the Biden Administration and setting a low bar — and it’s unacceptable,” Rubio continued. “While the Biden Administration publicly underachieves, tens of millions of students are still at home. Our students deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. When it comes to reopening our schools, the Biden Administration needs to get its act together and follow the science, not set a low bar on our students’ future.”
Based on one of the most comprehensive sources tracking school reopenings, roughly 64 percent of elementary and middle school students are seeing some sort of in-person instruction already.
Earlier this month, Rubio introduced the Put Students First Act of 2021, legislation that would prohibit federal funding to schools that do not provide an in-person learning option by April 30, 2021.
Rubio previewed the legislation in an op-ed, writing that if “a school continues to cave to the unions at the expense of their students, they should not receive funding” and “that funding should be rescinded and directed to school choice and the reopening plans of schools that are prioritizing their students’ needs.”