Speed Reads

This Coronavirus Life

Trump urges governors to reopen public schools before summer, gets no takers

Many parents are struggling with helping their children attend school remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. "I had a breaking moment where I had to lock myself in the bathroom and cry," Yarlin Matos, with seven young kids at home, told The New York Times. "It was just too much." But when President Trump suggested to governors Monday that they "seriously consider" reopening public schools before the end of the school year, none of them responded, The Associated Press reports, citing a recording of the conference call.

"Some of you might start thinking about school openings, because a lot of people are wanting to have the school opening," Trump told the governors. "It's not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we've all gone through." Trump revisited the subject in a coronavirus press conference Monday evening: "Young people seem to do very well so I know that there are some governors that aren't necessarily ready to open up states, but they may be ready to open up the school systems."

Sending kids back to school would be a key step toward getting parents back to work, assuming other conditions are right, but dozens of states have already closed their schools for the rest of the school year. Some children have gotten very ill from the coronavirus, and even asymptomatic kids can spread the disease to more vulnerable adults. "Are they going to reopen for two weeks? Three weeks?" Daniel Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, told AP. "It's not the right thing to do. Particularly when we're involving the safety and welfare of our students."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working on draft guidelines that suggest some schools could reopen if they have isolation areas for students who develop symptoms, serve meals in the classroom, close the playgrounds, and keep students 6 feet apart.