House

Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child'

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) swiped at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday after the Trump administration official doubled down on her push for students to return to school.  

In a tweet knocking DeVos on Sunday afternoon, the first-term lawmaker directly called her out, writing, "@BetsyDeVosED you have no plan. Teachers, kids and parents are fearing for their lives."

"You point to a private sector that has put profits over people and claimed the lives of thousands of essential workers. I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child," she continued.

 

Pressley's tweet came in response to remarks DeVos made in an interview on CNN's "State of The Union" early Sunday. During her appearance, she reiterated her call for schools to resume in-person classes in the fall and pushed back on social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending children's time meeting in groups be limited to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

"What we're saying is that kids need to be back in school and that school leaders across the country need to be making plans to do just that. There's going to be the exception to the rule, but the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall," DeVos said. "Where there are little flare-ups or hot spots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis."

When discussing the role CDC guidelines should play in schools reopening, DeVos said, "The CDC guidelines are just that, meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation."

Earlier this month, DeVos said she was "very seriously" looking at holding back federal funding from schools that don't reopen in the fall, despite CDC guidelines warning that children meeting in groups "can put everyone at risk."

"We are looking at this very seriously. This is a very serious issue across the country," she said then. 

President Trump also threatened to do the same to schools that don't reopen in a tweet around the same time earlier this month. 

"The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!" Trump tweeted at the time.

However, it's unclear how much, if any, funding the Trump administration would be able to cut from schools that don't reopen come fall, as Congress is tasked with appropriating federal funding for schools.

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