Letter Follows DeVos' Comments that she Doesn't Believe Education Department is Responsible for Tracking School Reopening Plans or Positive Cases in Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/30/2020]—U.S Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), are pressing the nation’s top health and education officials to issue detailed guidance so that the nation’s elementary and secondary schools can work with state and local officials to ensure complete, transparent and timely reporting of COVID-19 cases.
In their letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, the Senators also urged the agencies to study outbreaks in K-12 schools to understand the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies and to provide further guidance on reporting COVID-19 cases.
“On October 20, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stated that she believes the Department of Education is not responsible for tracking school districts’ reopening plans or positive COVID-19 cases in schools,” the Senators wrote. “This sentiment represents a complete abdication of national leadership, which has made it difficult for local education leaders, families, and policymakers to accurately evaluate the risk of physically reopening schools.
“Federal guidance beyond this is lacking, resulting in significant variation across schools, school districts, and states. This lack of clear guidance results in inconsistent information across localities, states, and the nation and is making it extremely challenging for schools and families to make informed decisions.”
You can read a copy of the letter here.