U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) filed an amendment to the Democrats’ partisan $1.9 trillion spending proposal to ensure that school reopening dollars are going to support in-person learning.
Specifically, the amendment would reward schools that are prioritizing students and taking steps to offer in-person instruction five days a week. Under this proposal, schools that are completely closed would get twenty-five percent of funding under the bill’s formula, whereas schools that provide an in-person option five days a week would get one hundred percent.
“Most schools in America have been closed for over a year now, causing insurmountable damage to our children’s educational outcomes and wellbeing,” Rubio said. “This is not a partisan issue, and the future generation of America’s leaders is depending on our nation to put students first. The Democrats’ supposed rescue plan would throw billions at the problem but take no steps to reopen schools, in clear opposition to the science. My amendment would solve this problem by rewarding schools that are taking steps to offer in-person instruction five days a week. Any senator who respects science and cares about our nation’s students should support this amendment.”
Senator Rubio has been a consistent champion of our nation’s students, including through the introduction of the Put Students First Act of 2021.
“Labor unions and their bosses are the reason that many of our nation’s schools are still shuttered, even though science says in-person education is low-risk,” Scott said. “The pandemic has created not only a health crisis, but also an education crisis that I fear may permanently affect the future of millions of students, especially those who grew up in poverty like I did. For our children’s sake, schools must be fully reopened for in-person learning.”
“Keeping our classrooms closed is leaving a generation of students behind and having a devastating impact on our families—particularly women who have lost more jobs during this pandemic than their male counterparts,” Ernst said. “It’s past time to follow the data and the science, put our kids ahead of Left-wing political interests, and safely reopen schools, just like Iowa has done. Incredibly, the money in this massive, 628-page bill has little or nothing to do with getting kids back in school right now. That is simply wrong. If Democrats are going to spend billions of dollars on pandemic relief funds for schools that will not use the money until the pandemic is over, the least we can do is require those schools to safely reopen now.”
“If we’re going to send more money to schools, they need to re-open,” Daines said. “If Democrats are going to support opening our southern border for illegal immigrants, they should support opening our schools for American students. It’s as simple as that.”
“As Democrats promulgate harmful progressive policies in Washington, students across the country are sitting at home suffering because teachers’ unions refuse to return to work, in complete defiance of what the science actually says and without rebuke from President Biden or his allies. We need to reopen schools,” Cramer said.
“The facts are clear: prolonged remote learning puts kids at higher risk of failing classes, falling behind, and suffering from mental health problems,” Blunt said. “Encouraging schools to maximize in-person learning shouldn’t be controversial. I urge all of my colleagues to do what is best for kids and join us in supporting this amendment.”
“We know Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s real plan is to pay schools to stay closed,” Blackburn said. “Federal relief funding should encourage schools to provide in person learning. We cannot allow the teacher’s unions to control our children.”
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