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Psaki: Biden Does Not Support Making $130B For Schools In Stimulus Contingent On Schools Reopening

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during an interview with ABC News on Sunday that President Joe Biden does “not” support making the $130 billion for schools that is included Democrats’ stimulus bill contingent on schools having to reopen after they receive the funding.

“Obviously, President Biden first had said he wanted to see the majority of schools reopened by the end of his first 100 days, that would be April. Now the the goal is K-8 five days a week,” ABC News host Jonathan Karl said. “What, is this realistic? Are we going to see the majority of schools in this country open by April?”

“That’s our goal. That’s our objective. That’s our plan,” Psaki responded. “And, but what we need and what the President said at the time we need, is funding. That’s why he’s proposed $130 billion in the American Rescue Plan, because many schools across the country don’t have the resources to be able to invest in improving facilities on hiring more bus drivers, on hiring more temporary teachers so we can have smaller class sizes. There have been some important steps in the last week, including the CDC guidelines that give clear science based guidelines for school districts on a range of steps they can take to be safe, but every school in the country does not have that funding and does not have the resources and we need to from from the federal government help address that.”

“Does the President support the idea of making that funding in the American Rescue Plan contingent on schools reopening?” Karl asked. “So a requirement, you receive funding, you bring students back?”

“That’s not a contingency that we’re putting in, that we’re recommending to go in the bill or in legislation,” she responded. “Jon, I think what he believes is that school districts working with our Secretary of Education, who we certainly hope will be confirmed this week, need to make a determination about what works best for them based on the CDC guidelines.”

“There are a number of mitigation measures and steps that can be taken, vaccinating teachers is one of them, but also hiring more bus drivers, hiring more school teachers, having smaller class sizes, and we’re gonna work with school districts, our Secretary of Education, this will be his first priority to do that, but many of them need funding because they don’t have additional funding in their budgets to be able to do that and plan for the school years ahead,” she added.

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS HOST: I want to turn to the question of schools reopening. Obviously, President Biden first had said he wanted to see the majority of schools reopened by the end of his first 100 days, that would be April. Now the the goal is K-8 five days a week. What, is this realistic? Are we going to see the majority of schools in this country open by April?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That’s our goal. That’s our objective. That’s our plan, Jon. And, but what we need and what the President said at the time we need, is funding. That’s why he’s proposed $130 billion in the American Rescue Plan, because many schools across the country don’t have the resources to be able to invest in improving facilities on hiring more bus drivers, on hiring more temporary teachers so we can have smaller class sizes. There have been some important steps in the last week, including the CDC guidelines that give clear science based guidelines for school districts on a range of steps they can take to be safe, but every school in the country does not have that funding and does not have the resources and we need to from from the federal government help address that.

KARL: Does the President support the idea of making that funding and the American rescue plan contingent on schools reopening? So a requirement you receive funding you brings brings students back?

PSAKI: That’s not a contingency that we’re putting in, that we’re recommending to go in the bill or in legislation. Jon, I think what he believes is that school districts working with our Secretary of Education, who we certainly hope will be confirmed this week, need to make a determination about what works best for them based on the CDC guidelines. There are a number of mitigation measures and steps that can be taken, vaccinating teachers is one of them, but also hiring more bus drivers, hiring more school teachers, having smaller class sizes, and we’re gonna work with school districts, our Secretary of Education, this will be his first priority to do that, but many of them need funding because they don’t have additional funding in their budgets to be able to do that and plan for the school years ahead.

KARL: As you know, some teachers unions are saying that they don’t want to see schools reopen until every teacher is vaccinated. That’s the message out of the teachers union in Los Angeles and Sacramento and in Beaverton, Oregon, they’ve actually prioritized teachers and the union there actually isn’t comfortable yet with schools reopening even with teachers vaccinated. So, I know I’ve heard you address this and say flatly that you don’t believe that teachers, all teachers, need to be vaccinated to reopen schools. That’s the CDC guidance. It’s unnecessary. Fauci has said it’s impractical. But why is it that the President and the Vice President have seemed to had such a hard time saying it as clearly as you have? I want to play you what vice president Harris had to say on the today’s show.

[START VIDEO]

SAMANTHA GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS HOST: Can you reassure teachers who are listening right now that it is safe for them to go back to school, even if they are not vaccinated?

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT: Teachers should be a priority.

GUTHRIE: I know there are teachers listening and the CDC has said they don’t have to be vaccinated to go back to school.

HARRIS: We think it should be a priority. We think they should we think they should be a priority.

[END VIDEO]

KARL: I mean, what why can’t she just say, what you’ve said that you don’t believe the teachers, all teachers, need to be vaccinated for schools to reopen?

HARRIS: Well, well, Jon, look, the Vice President and the President and the federal government, we all believe that teachers should be prioritized and about half of the states in the country also have prioritized teachers and they’ve put them in the priority or the priority category of frontline health care workers because of the role that they play. But it doesn’t need to be a prerequisite. And that’s what the CDC is saying. The CDC is saying, in order to be safe, there are a number of steps that can be taken, vaccinating teachers is one of them, but having smaller class sizes, having kids more separated on buses, more PPE, more testing, facilities, upgrades, those are additional steps that can be taken. And our Secretary of Education will work with school districts to implement that. So they should be prioritized. But our science experts are saying it’s not a prerequisite and that’s the guidelines that we follow.

KARL: So a number of states including New Hampshire and Iowa have mandated local school districts reopen in the coming weeks. Other states including with Democratic governors Minnesota and Virginia, have have urged this strongly. Is the White House okay with that? Is the president okay with with governor’s mandating local school districts reopen schools, in-person learning in the coming weeks?

PSAKI: The President is married to a teacher, he knows how vital it is for students to be in classrooms. The role we’re playing from the federal level is to support the CDC guidelines, science based guidelines that are giving school districts the roadmap they need to reopen. But these decisions are not made by the federal government.

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Author : Daily Wire News

Source : Daily Wire : Psaki: Biden Does Not Support Making $130B For Schools In Stimulus Contingent On Schools Reopening

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