Biden's promise to get schools open fails to materialize

Associated Press

WASHINGTON D.C. (April 7, 2021) - More than half of the nation's schools are still refusing to open their classrooms for full-time learning, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Biden administration.

Only 46% of public schools offered five days a week of in-person to all students in February, according to the survey, but even in these schools, just 34% of students were learning full-time in the classroom. The gap was most pronounced among older K-12 students, with just 29% of eighth graders getting five days a week of learning at school.

With the new findings, President Joe Biden came no closer to meeting his goal of having most elementary schools open five days a week in his first 100 days. Just shy of half the nation’s schools offered full-time learning in February, roughly the same share as the previous month.

The findings are based on a survey of 3,500 public schools that serve fourth graders and 3,500 schools that serve eighth graders. It’s based on data from schools in 37 states that agreed to participate. This is the second round of data released from a new survey started by the Biden administration to evaluate progress in reopening schools.

The data capture a month that saw building momentum in the push to reopen schools. In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that schools could safely open with masks, social distancing and other precautions. 

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