WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be “fully operational” even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
DeVos made the comments during a call with governors as the Trump administration launched an all-out effort to get schools and colleges to reopen. Audio of the call was obtained by The Associated Press.
“Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how. School must reopen, they must be fully operational. And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders,” DeVos told governors.
President Donald Trump has insisted that schools and colleges return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. President Trump said Monday on Twitter that Democrats want to keep schools closed “for political reasons, not for health reasons.”
President Trump scheduled a White House event for later Tuesday to press his case for reopening schools. Vice President Mike Pence and education and public health leaders were expected to attend.