Education Secretary to Withhold Funds from Schools that Don’t Re-open

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the government is seriously considering withholding federal funds from schools that refuse to reopen this fall.

DeVos stressed on Tuesday there is “no reason to withhold full-time education” even with the coronavirus pandemic. 

President Trump earlier said he would exert pressure on governors to reopen state schools in fall. DeVos said withholding funding from closed schools was “definitely” something to be considered since school reopening is a very serious issue across the country.

“But what the president and all those at a roundtable today made very clear is the expectation that kids have got to continue their learning. There is no reason to withhold full-time education. Kids have got to continue learning, schools have got to open up. There has got to concerted effort to address the needs of all kids, and adults who are fearmongering and making excuses have simply got to stop doing it, and turn their attention on what is right for students and for their families,” DeVos said in a CNN interview.

The education chief also said that the reluctance of some schools to reopen is “more an issue of adults who are more interested in their own issues” than those of their pupils.

The Congressional Research Service says public schools rely on local taxes for 90 percent of their funding. 

Earlier, the American Federation of Teachers launched an ad this week saying they need more funding to reopen schools safely.