Lawmakers discuss sending students back to school safely

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue says now is the time for Congress to figure out how to get kids back to school safely.

“This has been on my mind all along as we thought about shutting the economy down first, now reopening it,” Perdue said Wednesday.

Perdue says his SCHOOL ACT would help parents, teachers and students choose what’s best for them.

He says school officials have contributed to the plan, but Perdue has insight of his own. His mom, dad and wife were all teachers.

“My wife is very adamant, you gotta protect teachers and you gotta protect the children,” Perdue said.  

The Trump administration has threatened to withhold federal funding for schools that don’t physically reopen.

“Look, children need to get back to school for their development,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said.

Loeffler says children learn best in person. Perdue says it should be up to the schools themselves to decide whether it’s safe to go back.

But other lawmakers on Capitol Hill say it is not safe to go back at all.

“I would be very reluctant right now,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) said.

Jones has his own school reopening plan.

“We got to make sure that we have a safe environment for our teachers and our kids,” he said.

South Carolina Democrat Joe Cunningham said teachers and superintendents should decide what’s best.

“We don’t need to rush into this and it certainly doesn’t need to be guided by politics,” Cunningham said.

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence hosted a round table in South Carolina about safely opening schools and said he wouldn’t hesitate to send his own children back this fall.

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