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(July 15, 2020, Washington, D.C.) On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Trump administration’s intent to withhold federal funds to force schools and universities to reopen with in-person education this fall:
“AACTE strongly opposes President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s efforts to force schools and universities to reopen prematurely. Preserving the health and safety of students and educators during COVID-19 is essential to effective teaching and learning. The Trump administration has directed state and local governments to bear the responsibility for developing and implementing policies and practices to protect their citizens during the pandemic. As such, institutions must be allowed to implement feasible and practical measures for reopening tailored to the needs of their local communities.
Federal funds should not be used as leverage to force schools and universities to provide in-person classes amidst the current surge of the coronavirus. Instead, federal funds must be allocated to aid colleges and universities in their recovery from the significant, financial challenges caused by the pandemic, to equip institutions with the proper tools to reduce the spread of coronavirus on their campuses, and to provide liability protection.
AACTE calls upon our nation to protect the health and well-being of those most vulnerable in our education communities and to implement bipartisan efforts that will strengthen school safety plans.”
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The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs and partners dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The over 700 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at aacte.org and follow us on Twitter.