Good stuff from Sen. Mark Warner:
ICYMI: Senator Warner Discusses New Legislation to Stop DeVos and Trump from Forcing Schools to Open Unsafely on MSNBC
Alexandria, VA – U.S. Senator Mark Warner today appeared on MSNBC where he discussed new legislation that will make clear to President Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos that they do not have the authority to withhold funding from schools in order to force them to fully reopen for in-person instruction before it is safe. Earlier this month, Trump dismissed guidelines on safe school re-opening administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and threatened to cut funding from schools if they do not re-open. DeVos has specifically attacked Virginia schools for implementing virtual learning plans.
Schools across Virginia are grappling with how to protect the health and safety of teachers and students. Yesterday, Fairfax County and Loudoun County joined several other counties, including the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County, in deciding to start the school year with 100% virtual learning. Other counties in the Commonwealth have plans and proposals for alternating schedules and partial virtual learning.
A transcript of the exchange follows:
Chuck Todd: Let me switch gears here to the virus and to what you guys are negotiating. I’ll be honest, I’ve been covering Washington a decent enough time. This looks like a total and complete mess right now as far as the state of negotiations. I don’t even know, is this bill going to be a bill about economic recovery or is this a bill that’s primarily about tackling and controlling this virus? I feel like we don’t even know what the focus of this bill is supposed to be.
Senator Warner: Chuck, it needs both. Still putting in place a national plan for the virus, that this White House has refused to do. It also means recognizing there are literally tens of millions of Americans going through unprecedented hardship. I have legislation to preclude President Trump or Betsy DeVos to tell schools when and how they should open. We had new cases yesterday and will we turn that responsibility over to the DeVos who has not shown much caring about our particularly public education kids to somehow say they can withhold federal funds which they cannot, that we’ll put extra legislation in to draw a bright line underneath that. That kind of distraction when so many Americans need the expanded unemployment, they need additional small business support, I got specific parts of legislation that would gear towards community development, financial institutions and Black owned banks because the meltdown in Black and Latino businesses in this country is unprecedented.