During and after the 2020 Presidential Campaign. the Biden/Harris team championed a plan to reopen as many public schools as possible during the pandemic.

In remarks on December 8, 2020, when he introduced his Health Care team, the President-Elect commented on how he planned to combat the Coronavirus in the first 100 days of his Administration.

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On schools, he said:

“… it should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school.

If Congress provides the funding we need to protect students, educators, and staff, and if states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.

That’s right, we will look to have most of the schools open in 100 days if Congress provides the funding we need.”

Among the ways Biden suggested to achieve that goal is to ensure all teachers get vaccinated.

To be fair, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has also called for teachers to be prioritized in receiving vaccinations for the same reasons as Biden.

The latest pending COVID 19 relief bill that is being negotiated in Congress currently has the funds Biden has called for to go to schools to combat the pandemic.

Arizona’s reaction to Biden’s science and fact-driven approach (in contrast to his soon to be predecessor) has been positive.

The Communications Office for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, who only yesterday relayed on social media that “the Arizona Department of Health Services benchmarks now recommend distance learning for 8 counties,”  released a statement which read:

“Superintendent Hoffman shares President-elect Biden’s vision for a safe reopening of schools for in-person learning. The Arizona Department of Education continues to ask the state and the federal government to provide Arizona schools with the necessary resources to make that possible.”

Former State Democratic Legislative Leader and current head of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress David Lujan commented:

“It sounds great to me! Everyone I know wants schools to be able to reopen and get back to in-person learning. But to do so safely, schools need the resources and the protocols in place to keep students, teachers, and everyone else healthy and safe. President-elect Biden wants schools to reopen but he understands there needs to be a plan and that plan needs to be acted upon so that schools can open.”

Kyrene School Governing Board Member Wanda Kolomyjec, speaking for herself, relayed:

“I am thankful for President Trump’s Warp Speed initiative to fast-track the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. This, coupled with President-elect Biden’s specific and well-defined guidelines should help us reach the goal we have all desired: a return to the classroom for our students in a responsible and safe way for everyone. I am hopeful we can turn an important corner in the next six months, but it will take all Americans following the science: continuing to wear masks, social distancing, and getting a vaccine as soon as available.”

Everyone wants life to return to normal, especially for the stakeholders at Arizona’s and the nation’s schools. Hopefully, with the COVID 19 vaccinations being distributed and a new Administration that will put people and science first, normalcy will return before the end of the school year.

 

 

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