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Congressmen Gonzalez and Vela Statement on Trump Administration’s Demands for Schools to Reopen

July 16, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) issued the following statement after President Trump urged schools to reopen and threatened to withhold federal funding for those that do not resume normal operations in the fall.

“Despite the surge of coronavirus cases in South Texas and across the nation, the Trump Administration, Governor Greg Abbott and Republicans in Congress continue to prioritize politics over the health and safety of students, parents, and educators. Reopening schools now, without more investment and without heeding health experts’ advice, presents serious risks to the health and safety of our students and educators, and poses and equal threat to our country’s economic recovery efforts.

“CDC guidelines explicitly say that to reopen safely, schools must have adequate ventilation and a number of other safety measures in place. Unfortunately, our nation’s public schools are chronically underfunded.  Safely retrofitting our children’s schools will take time and resources. Pressuring schools to resume normal operations in the fall without implementing a proper safety plan and providing resources to schools is not only irresponsible, it is dangerous.

“It is understandable that our constituents are eager to return to near-normal life this fall. In Congress, we have supported legislation that would equip our communities with the resources needed to tackle this pandemic. If the Trump Administration is serious about defeating this virus, then we urge that they join us in supporting the Heroes Act and the Moving Forward Act, which increase investments in state and local funding to help our students, communities, and economy recover.”


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