U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has helped introduce the Put Students First Act of 2021, legislation that would prohibit federal funding to schools that do not provide an in-person learning option by April 30, 2021.
In January, leading health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that America’s schools should reopen as soon as possible if precautions are taken – namely mask-wearing and social distancing – and that new scientific research provides “a path forward to maintain or return primarily or fully to in-person instructional delivery.” Additionally, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky reiterated in a press conference yesterday that “vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for safe reopening of schools” and that is clear “that there is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen.”
“President Biden’s own CDC director agrees that we can safely open our schools—and we should,” Ernst said. “This is a matter of emotional and academic development and the mental health of our kiddos, as well as the well-being of our working families. I’m proud to join this effort that will ensure schools that put our children first receive additional federal support during COVID-19.”
Senator Ernst was joined in the effort by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).