Fox News host Chris Wallace got all worked up recently while conducting an interview with the Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
They were discussing the potential threat to cut off federal funding to school districts that refuse to reopen.
“Parents are expecting that this fall their kids are going to have a full-time experience with their learning, and we need to follow through on that promise,” DeVos told "Fox News Sunday," stressing that "kids cannot afford to not continue learning."
DeVos said it is "not a matter of if" this happens, but "a matter of how."
The secretary hold host Chris Wallace that "the CDC never recommended that schools close in the first place," but she did note that there can be exceptions in areas that are coronavirus hot spots.
“Where there are hot spots in the future, in the fall, of course that has to be dealt with differently,” she said.
DeVos said that students have suffered from not being in a classroom environment this past spring, and that schools should have the ability to help them catch up in the fall.
"They’ve fallen behind this spring, we need to ensure they’re back in a classroom situation wherever possible and whenever possible, and fully functioning, fully learning," she said.
Wallace said, “Both you and the president have threatened to cut off funding for school systems that don’t open fully in the fall. ”
He continued, “One, under what authority are you and the president unilaterally going to cut off funding. Funding that’s been approved by Congress — and most of the money goes to disadvantaged students or students with disabilities? And secondly, isn’t cutting off funding exactly the wrong answer? Don’t you want to spend more money to make schools safer, whether it’s with plastic shields or health checks, various other systems? Doesn’t it make more sense to increase funding for schools where it’s unsafe rather than cut off funding?”
DeVos said, “America investment in education is a promise to students and their families. If schools aren’t going to reopen and not fulfill that promise, they shouldn’t get the funds. Then give it to the families to decide to go to a school that is going to meet that promise.”
Wallace said, “You can’t do that. I know you guys support vouchers, and that’s a reasonable argument, but you can’t do that unilaterally, you have to do that through Congress.”
DeVos said, “Well, we’re looking at all the options because it’s a promise to the American people and their families. And we want to make sure that promise if followed through on.”
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