With many students across the country still not in a school classroom, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new guidelines on Friday regarding how schools are to reopen. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) isn’t impressed with the new regulations.
DeSantis has made clear that schools in his state will remain open regardless of what the CDC regulations say, the Washington Examiner reported. “What the CDC put out, 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, I wonder why they would do it then, was quite frankly a disgrace,” DeSantis said during a press conference Monday.
“We are not turning back”
DeSantis blasted the CDC guidelines, noting that actually following them would require “closing 90 percent of schools in the United States.” As noted by the Examiner, the new guidelines recommend schools opening decisions based on a color-coded system on the extent of community spread in the area.
“We are open, we remain open, and we are not turning back. We’ve been open the whole time, since August,” DeSantis said of Florida schools.
The governor noted that despite his state opening schools months ago, COVID cases among children are lower than in dozens of other states. “We had kids doing camps and athletics and all that over the summer, and we’ve been in-person as much as anybody in the country, and yet, we are 34th out of 50 states and D.C. for COVID-19 cases on a per capita basis for children,” the governor said.
He continued, “Thirty-three states have more cases per capita than Florida children, and many of those don’t have a lot of in-person instruction in school.”
“It does not require another $100 billion. The school reopening plan that makes the most sense if you want to open schools, open them. Open the door. Let them come in and let them learn,” DeSantis said.
Helping Democratic interests
DeSantis argued that the rules have nothing to do with following the science and are instead focused on pleasing partisan interests.
“The only reason that is not happening across this country like it is in Florida … It’s one reason and one reason only,” the governor insisted. “Because the Democratic Party puts the interests of education unions and special interests ahead of the well-being of our children and of our families.”
Check out the governor’s speech below:
Florida schools are open, and every parent has the right to send their kids to school for in-person instruction. Those who insist on keeping the schoolhouse doors closed are ignoring evidence and placing special interests ahead of the best interests of children and families. pic.twitter.com/DG9iUuKMlc
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 15, 2021
Fox News reported that $128 billion is devoted to school reopening in Biden’s coronavirus relief bill. However, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says only a fraction of that amount would actually go to schools this year. The bulk of that money is not scheduled to be spent until 2022 and 2023, with some funding set to go out as late as 2028.