While the CDC has released guidelines for what it will take for schools to reopen this fall, some educators and students say they still have lots of questions about what it will take to make classrooms safe.
When the question was posed to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, she said it should be a local choice.
“Kids need to be in school, they need to be learning. They need to be moving ahead and we cannot be paralyzed and not allow that or not be intent on that happening,” DeVos said.
As the coronavirus curve continues to rise in many states, the learning curve is impacting the return to in-person classroom education.
Schools in Gary, Indiana plan to announce information regarding the opening of local schools live on Facebook tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
This weekend, a Chicago Teachers Union survey of its 4,800 members showed 85 percent won’t go back into schools without daily testing and temperature checks, and 40 percent wouldn’t want to go back until a vaccine is widely available.
“It’s a question, do we have resources to get school open and safe?” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey.
In Minnesota this weekend, the question of when and how to reopen classroom is also a key subject. Some took to the steps of the state capitol for a rally urging the governor to get students back into class this fall.
Meanwhile at colleges and universities, the Trump administration announced last week that international students would need to attend in-person instruction to keep their student visas, creating another dilemma for 1 million foreign students.
“If they are not going to be a student or if they are going to be 100 percent online, then they don’t have a basis to be here,” acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccineli said.
The decision impacts more than 8,000 schools in the U.S. that accept international students. Many of those schools rely on international tuition for up to a quarter of their budgets.
Students like Salvador Moratillo said they want to stay and keep going with their education, but also want to stay safe by not increasing their exposure in a classroom setting.
“It’s either forcing us to take in-person classes while coronavirus cases are surging, especially here in the US, or forcing students to travel back to their home country,” Moratillo said.