Trump Threatens To Cut Funding If Schools Don't Fully Reopen

by Madison Vanderberg
.S. President Donald Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Donald Trump threatens to cut federal funding from schools that don’t reopen soon

Since the pandemic began, many have wondered and worried about schools reopening and what will happen for the 2020-2021 school year. New York City just announced that students will stagger attendance and only attend in-school classes one to three days a week and Florida said that they’re requiring all schools to reopen in August, though most schools, states, and districts nationwide have yet to announce firm plans for the 2020-2021 school year. However, many schools may not have a choice to reopen or not, if Trump has anything to do with it. After all-caps tweeting on Monday that “schools must reopen in the fall,” Trump is now threatening to “cut off funding” to schools who do not follow his dictatorial mandate.

After complaining on Twitter on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, that the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools were “very tough & expensive” and “impractical,” Trump threatened to meet with the CDC, and now the CDC is changing their school reopening practices to be less “tough,” which we can only assume means they will be less safe as well.

Then, Trump complained that other European countries with fewer coronavirus cases than America have opened their schools and whined that America isn’t doing the same. He also said some nonsense about democrats not wanting schools to open before the election, seemingly unaware that states with Republican governors haven’t opened their schools yet either, but then, Trump threatened to “cut off funding” to schools that don’t reopen this fall, which is terrifying.

Also, when we colloquially say, “how are schools going to reopen,” we’re talking about school years that literally start next month. Next month, while the country is seeing the largest spikes in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

The decision to reopen schools will ultimately be made by local and state leaders, but who knows how they will react if Trump cuts government funding for their schools. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools,” he said during a roundtable discussion at the White House on Tuesday. “Get open in the fall. We want your schools open.”

Trump also doubled down on his bizarre logic that democrats, and Joe Biden specifically, want to keep schools closed for political gain. “They think it’s gonna be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed,” he said.

As the CDC is reportedly preparing their new guidelines for reopening and Vice President Pence doles out vague advice to local leaders to “tailor their plans” so kids can go back to school while simultaneously saying that the “CDC’s recommendations are [not] intended to replace state and local rules and guidance,” there’s no true guidance on how exactly anyone is supposed to safely send their kid back to school this fall, and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like we can count of the President or the administration to lead the way.