A plan released on Thursday by the Biden administration aims to help in school reopening after nearly 10 months of interruption by the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan read in part that it would ensure students and educators were able to return for in-person learning safely across the country, adding that it aimed at getting a majority of the K-8 schools safely reopened within a hundred days of the administration.
School reopening plan
Through an executive order, the Biden administration released the plan titled ‘National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness‘, which discussed goals that the administration aimed to achieve in its early days.
The executive will see the Education Department and Department of Health and Human services working together and coordinating efforts of safe school reopening across the country for in-person learning. It will also see schools sharing tips on what they have learned from reopening and how safe school reopening can be run across the country.
Biden also called on Congress to provide financial aid for school reopening, state governments and local aids. He asked $130 billion for K-12 school funding that would go to ensuring schools are reopened safely. He also urged Congress to approve a further $350 billion for state and local aid.
The plan also highlighted that it would reimburse schools that used their own finances for safe reopening through the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, a contrast from the Trump administration, which never had provisions for schools’ reimbursements. There were also sections in the plan that indicated that the Biden administration would take an active role in helping schools establish screening, testing and tracing programs.
The plan is also expected to come with guidelines that will be sent to schools highlighting all the precautions and strategies they need to implement to reopen safely.
The accelerated plan has come amidst new research showing that school reopening had little impact on the surge of coronavirus cases in communities. It also showed that school-going children were less likely to spread the virus, and the recovered fast compared to older people.
The plan was praised by educators and school leaders who worked hard to ensure that schools return to normalcy. They also praised the Biden administration for its commitment to fast and safe school reopening.