US Education Secretary: ‘A much better place’ to deal with COVID in school this year

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – As children prepare to return to school, the Biden administration promises to make this school year as close to normal as possible for students who have spent the past two years avoiding COVID- 19.

US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said things are looking up and schools across the country now have the resources they need to fight COVID-19 and help students.

“Such a promise, such an opportunity this year, we are in a much better position this year than we were last year,” he said. “They missed a lot of things in the last two years, this year we have to give them more.”

He said that through the US bailout, school districts can step up mental health and tutoring services to help children who may have fallen behind.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also relaxed its guidelines, allowing students without symptoms to remain in their classrooms even after a classmate has tested positive.

“We are all excited and we all feel we can control the spread of COVID-19, we have better tools,” Cardona said.

Education unions like the American Federation of Teachers take the more passive approach. Union President Randi Weingarten said she was grateful to the Biden administration for helping schools adapt to new challenges.

“The guidelines are smart. … We really want to teach by seeing each other’s faces,” Weingarten said. “To get kids back to their mojo and their confidence.”

But Weingarten said it’s up to parents and local school districts to support teachers.

“Teachers need to have the respect they need to do their job, as opposed to… politics, division and polarization,” she said.

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