President Donald Trump has frequently stressed the importance of reopening schools for in-person learning despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
While many Democrats have harshly criticized his rhetoric, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said this week that U.S. schools must reopen if the economy is going to fully recover, as reported by The Blaze.
“Polar opposites on this issue”
“If we don’t open up the schools, you’re going to hurt the economy significantly because lots of people can’t go to work,” he said.
Although Schumer’s remarks might seem like common sense to those who agree with Trump’s position, new evidence shows the issue of reopening schools is becoming an increasingly partisan topic.
According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, 79% of Republicans support the idea of reopening schools while 78% of Democrats oppose it. Pollsters noted that the two parties “are polar opposites on this issue.”
The survey found that 55% of Americans, in general, oppose the reopening of school, but there are several notable concerns beneath the surface. As one example, 59% of parents expressed concern about their children falling behind in their education if remote learning continues.
“Americans are increasingly concerned about being infected with the coronavirus, although not at levels seen in early April,” the Ipsos report determined.
Democratic stance starting to shift
Trump has made his stance clear for months, repeatedly stressing the perceived importance of reopening the nation’s schools as soon as possible.
Although Democrats have generally opposed his position, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that schools across the state would be cleared for provisionary reopening as regional cases trend downward.
Schumer’s recent comments touched on the likely economic toll that continued school shutdowns would have on the nation and individual families.
Alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), he remains engaged in negotiations with the White House and Republicans regarding the next coronavirus relief package. The process appears deadlocked, however, and Trump has hinted that he could issue an executive order to break the logjam.
Democrats are asking for additional funding to ensure schools can be opened safely amid a public health crisis, but new evidence of bipartisan support for in-person learning might mean a deal on this touchy subject is within reach.