President Trump pushes for schools to fully reopen this fall. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins the On the Move panel with the details.
JULIE HYMAN: Well, let's get to that issue now of whether schools are going to be reopening in the fall. As I mentioned, Vice President Mike Pence is saying that the White House would like the schools to open.
The president himself tweeting this morning, sort of threatening to withhold funding from some schools if they don't reopen. But at the same time, he says CDC guidelines are too tough on schools.
Our Jessica Smith is joining us now to help us sift through all of this. I mean, it's interesting because the federal government usually doesn't have as much a role in local education.
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, but this time around, President Trump is really putting the pressure on local schools to do what he wants them to do. He really wants them to open up in the fall, despite the surge in coronavirus cases that we're seeing in some spots of the country.
Now this morning, as you mentioned, he did tweet that he disagreed with his own administration's guidelines, the CDC's guidelines for reopening schools. He said they were too tough, expensive, and impractical.
Now some of those guidelines do include spacing desks six feet apart, serving kids their individual lunches in their classrooms instead of a cafeteria, closing common areas of the school. So he does not like those guidelines and said he'd be talking to the CDC about them.
In another tweet, he did threatened to withhold funding for schools if they don't reopen this fall. And this is just the latest in the administration's efforts to really put the pressure on schools.
Yesterday, the White House had conference calls. It had an event at the White House with state and local school leaders. And President Trump said he was going to continue to push these states to reopen in the fall. Let's watch.
DONALD TRUMP: I think it's going to be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed. No way. So we're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open. And it's very important. It's very important for our country. It's very important for the well-being of the student and the parents.
JESSICA SMITH: Now National Education Association and other groups of educators and parents did release a statement, saying in part, "No one wants students to safely return to classrooms more than parents, educators, and administrators. We also recognize that we must do it in the safest way possible, not the most politically expedient way."
The White House and the CDC have offered at best conflicting guidance for school reopening. And Julie, as you mentioned earlier, Vice President Mike Pence is speaking at the Department of Education with the Coronavirus Task Force. And as he's been speaking, he has repeatedly said that it is essential, the administration believes, for kids to be back in school in person.
JULIE HYMAN: Speaking of conflicting messages, I mean, we keep getting them here in New York from the governor and from the mayor of New York City. So it seems like the school reopening generally is still a big question mark.
I want to ask you about universities, though, for a moment, Jess. Because yesterday, we were talking a lot about the administration's threat that if universities go online only, that the international students who are here in the United States for an education might not be able to retain their visas to do so.
Harvard and MIT filed suit today, or said they were going to file suit today, against the administration regarding this. Can you give us more details?
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, the universities, MIT and Harvard, are suing to block a new directive that would cause foreign students to lose their visas if their coursework is done all online. The lawsuit says that this policy is going to cause chaos for international students and for universities.
As you mentioned, ICE announced earlier this week that students would lose their visas if they had-- or if they didn't transfer to a school that was doing in-person learning. So that is going to cause a lot of problems for international students if their coursework is done all online.
That rule was announced shortly after Harvard said it would be going all online in the fall. So now the universities are saying in this lawsuit that this policy reflects the effort by the federal government to force campuses essentially to reopen. So this is one that we'll continue to watch over the coming weeks.
JULIE HYMAN: Indeed. Thank you so much. Jessica Smith joining us from Washington. Appreciate it.