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Speaking to press on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked what Biden's plan to reopen K-8 schools in 100 days will mean in practice.
"Could you help us understand what the White House's, or what the president's definition of open schools is? Does it mean teachers in classroom teaching students in classroom or does it just mean kids in classroom with a remote screen? Help us understand."
Psaki responded "Sure, his goal that he set is to have the majority of schools, so more than 50 percent, open by day 100 of his presidency. And that means some teaching in classrooms. So at least one a day week, hopefully it's more! And obviously it is as much as is safe in each school and local district."
The reporter asked for clarity, saying "When you say 'some teaching,' you didn't use the same majority qualifier there, you just said 'some teaching' in schools, some teachers in school, not the majority of teachers in school in the majority of classrooms."
"Teaching at least one day a week in the majority of schools by day 100," Psaki said.
"So that's in person teaching," the reporter asked.
"In person teaching," Psaki said.
It is unlikely that most parents or students in the US, for that matter, thought that when Joe Biden touted his plan to have schools open within his first 100 days in office he meant that kids would stay remote learning for up to 80 percent of the time.
Biden's plan to get schools open comes with a hefty $175 billion price tag, which he has put into his $1.9 trillion relief bill ask, under the American Rescue Plan. New York City, America's largest school district, has been bringing kids back to the classroom in a blended learning model since Sept. 21, and just announced a plan to get middle schoolers back to class by February 25.
Chicago's school system's plans to bring kids back to class has ground to a halt as the Chicago Public Teachers Union has refused to come to the table to negotiate, instead making increasing demands. The latest of these is that all teachers must be vaccinated before they return to work. Chicago's kids have been out of school since March, 2020.
The report card on remote learning has been a complete failure so far, with increased youth suicides, depression, and mental issues, as well as substantial educational losses as kids marks plummet across the board. Special needs students and poor students, who do not have access to the technology necessary to keep up with their studies, have been hardest hit, while parents of means have simply moved on from the public educational system.