Joe Biden’s School Reopening Plan Would Keep Kids Online Indefinitely

Joe Biden’s School Reopening Plan Would Keep Kids Online Indefinitely

Joe Biden's metrics would basically allow for keeping public schools shut down indefinitely until coronavirus, like polio, has been eradicated. 
Joy Pullmann
By

On Thursday, Joe Biden gave a speech that seemed to cast himself as supporting school reopening. But his actual plan is so vague and bureaucratic it could keep schools shut down indefinitely.

“If President Trump and his administration had done their jobs early on in this crisis, American schools would be open, and would be open safely,” Biden charged, ignoring that he downplayed the threat of coronavirus in January and February and effectively called Trump a racist for successfully slowing virus transmission by shutting down international travel.

“President Trump doesn’t have a real plan for how to open schools safely,” Biden charged, implying that he would be a better president who would ensure schools remained open, unlike Trump. But neither does Biden have such a plan. And in reality, Trump and his education secretary have strongly encouraged schools to open as normal and have been hounded as killers for doing so.

From day one, it has been Democrats that have insisted schools stay closed indefinitely against the scientific evidence that children are at higher risk of bad effects from the seasonal flu than from COVID-19, with CNN’s Dana Bash going so far to demand that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ensure no child ever gets infected with coronavirus before allowing schools to educate anyone. Needless to say, with a preposterous standard like that, schools would never open again.

Because Americans were becoming wise to Democrats’ attempt to hold families with school-age children hostage to damage Trump’s presidency, Democrats had to switch tactics. Biden is now presenting their pivot from “opening schools equals the mass murder of children” to “of course we want schools open, we just want them open safely!”

Yet the hostage attempt continues, because coronavirus has long gone from “15 days to slow the spread” to “you don’t get your lives back so long as Trump is president.” Since the nation is docile enough to take an eight-month shutdown so long as we keep getting fed our children’s inheritances and the Amazon trucks arrive on time, but pictures of autistic kids being denied desperately needed therapy make enough people queasy, something has to be done. Not for real, only for PR, you understand.

“Millions of students are now starting a new school year the same way they finished the last one – at home,” Biden noted in his speech, appearing to accept as legitimate people finally noticing that shutdowns are a terrible idea and we were led into them on false premises. “Parents are doing their best but more and more are finding themselves at their wit’s end, struggling to balance work and child care and educational duties.”

Yet since Trump is still president, Democrats can’t let up on the panic porn. The economy might uptick again, and that might help Trump. So what to do? Retcon history and start saying of course schools need to open. Democrats have always supported opening schools. We’ve always been at war with Eurasia. Thus what Biden is saying about his school opening policies and what his actual policies would do are two different things.

In his speech, Biden provided almost no specifics besides appearing to endorse the idea that schools must reopen. He told listeners to go to JoeBiden.com to learn more. So at JoeBiden.com, at the bottom there is a link to his speech and to the “fact sheet” he referred to in it.

Click on the “fact sheet” and you get this:

The 459-word “fact sheet,” however, contains very few facts, and very little of what one could call a “plan.” Like Biden in his speech, it does empathize with parents’ shutdown frustrations and claims that Biden supports “reopening schools safely.”

“Students are falling behind, parents are struggling to cope, and educators are worried for their health and that of their families and students. And for communities of color, the impact has been devastating,” it notes. All true. Yet pretty much all it provides by way of a “plan” to address this is a demand that Congress triple the annual federal K-12 outlay to the tune of $200 billion, even though schools have not used the extra $31 billion Congress sent them this spring and if throwing money at problems worked, the United States’ problems would be few.

So it appears Biden’s solution, as is Democrats’ for everything since they have no workable policy ideas, is to throw money at a virus and hope it, unlike Congress, runs from other people’s cash.

This “fact sheet” refers very dedicated readers to a “five-step” “roadmap to reopen schools safely” on yet another web page. This one is 1,772 words long, and represents the final stop on the “Biden plan to reopen schools safely” railway. Here we find that Biden’s metrics would basically allow for keeping public schools shut down indefinitely until coronavirus, like polio, has been eradicated.

“If we want to reopen schools safely, we need to get cases down in states and communities across America,” it states. So “get cases down” is a precondition for opening schools. No word on how far they must be down, however, which allows for continued lockdowns.

The Biden plan’s demands for “safe reopening” include: “Implement nationwide testing-and-tracing, including doubling the number of drive-through testing sites.” He must not be aware that contract tracing has a terrible track record of success generally, and that includes in Democrat-controlled locales like New York. If school reopening depends on contact tracing being in place, schools will not reopen.

Rather than allowing local leaders to make decisions about school reopening based on local conditions, Biden would also implement a centrally controlled set of federal “reopening guidelines” “to answer basic questions that schools have, including: How low does the community infection rate need to be to reopen and at what point should schools shut down again if cases rise? What are the safe maximum class sizes? If schools cannot accommodate everyone, who should return to the classroom first?”

That last question is eerily suggestive of several school districts’ plans to deprive children of an education based on their race. Yes, school districts in Washington, Illinois, and California actually prioritized getting non-white children into classrooms before white children. School reopenings with a side of racism, I guess. Is that a-okay with Joe Biden? No reporter will ever ask.

Biden’s plan also calls for hundreds of billions more in debt-derived funding for schools and the establishment of a number of federal commissions to somehow solve the fact that online learning sucks. Biden must not be aware of this, but philanthrocapitalists like Bill Gates, owner of the world’s largest tax-free cash stockpile, and hundreds of millions in venture capital have attempted to solve this problem for decades and they still haven’t found a solution.

But Biden is apparently a unicorn who can simply declare the federal government will solve problems nobody has been able to solve despite spending millions, and that declaration will alone magically solve it. If only Trump thought of that solution: sorcery! Make sure Biden puts Harry Potter on his coronavirus commission.

So, to recap, Biden’s plan for “reopening schools” requires basically three things: hundreds of billions more dollars, more government commissions, and to “Get the Virus Under Control.” This isn’t a plan, it’s a vague wish list that will allow for no accountability from Biden to uphold it. My second grader could do better than this.

Biden provides zero hard metrics for what will allow children back to school in person, only soft metrics such as the existence of “sufficient testing, adequate contact tracing, [and] reliable supply chains.” By Democrats’ understanding of all these metrics, based on their attacks on Trump, schools would not be open for the foreseeable future, if ever. Yet Biden’s speech, the only thing most Americans might encounter on this issue, would lead them to think precisely the opposite.

It’s yet another example of how Democrats constantly sell voters reasonable-sounding things people want while constantly delivering outlandish things Americans hate.

Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her newest ebooks are"Classic Books for Young Children" and "32 Classic Games You Can Play Anywhere." @JoyPullmann is also the author of "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books.
Photo DOD / public domain

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