Today, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) called for the House to consider her Reopen Schools Act to help ensure students across the country can attend school in-person. Hinson applauded Governor Kim Reynolds for safely opening Iowa schools.
Hinson’s Reopen Schools Act would require schools to have a plan for in-person learning in order to receive previously-appropriated federal COVID relief dollars intended to get students into the classroom safely.
Full Remarks as Delivered:
“Our amendment would ensure that students are no longer kept out of the classroom and forced to learn behind a screen.
“It would ensure that parents are able to return to the workplace.
“It would help combat the ongoing youth mental health crisis spurred by school closures.
“My bill, the Reopen Schools Act, would condition federal COVID grants to schools on those schools actually being open and operating – which is what that money was intended to do.
“I am proud of my home state of Iowa – and of Governor Reynolds – for ensuring that Iowa students could go back to school.
“In Iowa, kids have been back in the classroom, where they belong, for over a year.
“They get to socialize with their peers and get hands-on learning help from their teachers.
“They get to run and jump at recess, they get to raise their hands to ask and answer questions instead of clicking a button on a screen, and write on a whiteboard during lessons.
“Unfortunately, this is just not the case in the rest of the country – so many students are still trapped behind screens. And what about the students who don’t have regular computer and broadband internet access?
“What about students in households without computers – or even households with only one computer where mom and dad are trying to also use it for work?
“Virtual learning means we are leaving behind our most vulnerable students. Our rural students. Our students with additional learning challenges. And even the kids who have every virtual advantage are struggling.
“Families are struggling. Working parents are challenged like never before. And American kids are suffering and paying the price for it.
“As a mom, I have personally felt this pressure. And I know many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle know what it’s like to have kids trying to learn at home while you’re trying to work at the same time.
“This isn’t a partisan issue – this is about our kids. This is about supporting working families.
“Kids needs to be in school. I urge my colleagues to join me in defeating the previous question so we can reopen schools and prevent taxpayer dollars from keeping kids at home.
“Thank you, and I yield back.”