Scott Calls on States to Stop Sabotaging Safe School Reopening Efforts

August 19, 2021
Press Release
Education and Labor Committee Chairman: There is no justification for policies that endanger students and staff

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in response to eight states banning schools from implementing mandatory mask policies to protect students, educators, and families from COVID-19. 

“As we begin another school year under the cloud of a pandemic, policymakers must be laser-focused on helping school districts reopen safely and stay open safely. Through the American Rescue Plan, Congress and President Biden delivered an historic $130 billion investment in K-12 education to help ensure school districts have the resources they need to safely return to in-person instruction. 

“It is astonishing that some state leaders are instead setting policies that endanger students, families, and educators and jeopardize schools’ ability to provide in-person instruction.

“Public health officials have repeatedly stated that consistent use of masks is a critical part of any comprehensive strategy to make classrooms safer. The rapid emergence of the Delta variant has only increased the need for schools to protect their students, many of whom are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Over the past few weeks, we have seen what happens when schools are not permitted to take science-based safety precautions designed to reduce the likelihood of transmission. One Florida school district began this week with more than 5,500 students and more than 300 employees in isolation or quarantine because of COVID-19.

“Given the importance of getting students back into classroom, there is no justification for punishing school districts that take action to protect their students and staff.

“Students, parents, and educators should feel that their safety is a priority for the governors and state legislators making these decisions. I applaud President Biden and Secretary Cardona for speaking up on their behalf. I am imploring state leaders to provide school districts the support they need to reopen safely and stay open safely. This is the leadership our children need and deserve.”

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