The summit is in keeping with President Joe Biden’s promise to reopen elementary and middle schools by the end of his first 100 days in office
US President Joe Biden, in keeping with his promise to reopen elementary and middle schools by the end of his first 100 days in office, is convening a summit on March 24, which will provide education leaders, teachers and students with the opportunity to share their experiences in reopening schools. First Lady Jill Biden will deliver the opening remarks at the summit, CDC head Rochelle Walensky will also be a speaker.
Education secretary Miguel Cardona said the time is now, and schools must act immediately to get students safely back to them. He added that the summit aims to share best practices and connect leaders, educators and students from across the country who are trying to find creative solutions to support students.
Biden has ordered states to prioritise teachers in their vaccination plans, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines to help schools reopen. However, the guideline suggesting that students be seated six feet apart is being reviewed due to the challenges in achieving it.
The summit comes in the aftermath of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill which includes $130 billion in education funding. Schools receiving funding need to have a plan within 30 days to reopen schools.