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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona emphatically urged "adults" Thursday not to "let politics get in front of what is best for our students," but promised not to cut federal funding for states should they implement policies prohibiting the following of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's coronavirus guidance.
Cardona stopped by Thursday's White House press briefing to update reporters on new actions the federal government is taking to reopen schools safely in the fall. While answering a question on policies implemented by Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas opposing the CDC's latest mask guidance, expressed concerns that "decisions are being made that are not putting students at the center and student health and safety at the center."
Cardona also denied that mandating students wear masks will disrupt their learning, claiming that wearing masks in the classroom would distract "less than if [students are] at home."
"Don't be the reason why schools are disrupted because of the politicization of this effort to reopen schools," he continued. "We know what works. We have to keep our students safe. We have to keep our educators safe."
Cardona specifically ruled out withholding federal funds from states that might take public action prohibiting schools from following federal guidelines. Cardona argued that such a move would only hurt students and deepen the political divide on the topic.
"At the end of the day, I want to work with Texas. I want to work with Florida. I want to make sure those students have access to in-person learning," he continued. "So, at the end of the day, we're all in this together. And it's critically important that we have conversations with governors directly."
You can watch Thursday's briefing in its entirety below.
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Original Author: Christian Datoc