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'We Want Our Schools Open': Trump Pushes for Fall Reopening, CDC Director Agrees


WASHINGTON - School districts across the nation are deciding what the classroom will look like come this fall. 

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump hosted a national dialogue on safely reopening America's schools.

"We want our schools open. We want to get them open quickly, beautifully in the fall," Trump said. "As you know this is a disease, a horrible disease but young people do extraordinary well." 

The White House says the goal should be to get kids physically present in the classroom pointing to the benefits for their health, social maturity, and education. 

But there isn't a one size fits all solution, because the virus looks different in each community.

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School districts are running into problems with parents who need to work full time as they debate if children will return to their desks full or part-time. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants to protect teachers and make sure they don't get fired or have their salaries cut due to a school's decision for kids to stay at home. 

"We could have kept every educator employed, but instead, we lost more than 900,000 state and local education jobs since the pandemic started due to budget cuts," Biden said. "This is absolutely unacceptable. We are already short the number of teachers we need nationally."

On the higher education level, universities like Harvard have already announced they will go entirely remote in the fall. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out guidance for schools last month, including staggering schedules, spreading out desks, having meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria, adding physical barriers between bathroom sinks and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, said schools can operate safely by taking basic safety precautions. He noted that COVID-19 cases tend to be milder in young people, adding that the greatest risk is the transmission from children to more vulnerable populations. But he also believes it's damaging to young people to not allow them to return to school.

"It's clear that the greater risk to our society is to have these schools close," Redfield said. "The CDC encourages all schools to do what they need to reopen, and to have plans that anticipate that COVID-19 cases will in fact occur."

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