Under pressure, colleges face risks of reopening or financial ruin
With the help of Juan Perez, Jr. and Bianca Quilantan
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– Public colleges and universities come under intense pressure to open classroom doors even as health officials warn potential peaks in coronavirus cases occur in the fall.
– President Donald Trump said Sunday night he was urging universities and schools to open in September, but he is concerned about the safety of teachers 65 and over in classrooms when there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.
– Schools in Georgia are closed for the school year, but the state’s largest school district is moving forward with a controversial plan for employees and teachers to resume work in phases, starting this week.
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BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP SEA: College presidents and their governing boards have a seemingly impossible task: to protect the finances of the school without putting the lives of students and faculty at risk. Colleges could be sued if schools reopen dormitories and mess halls as a second wave of infections hits. But multibillion-dollar financial problems loom if campuses remain closed, especially at small, historically black colleges.
– Flagship universities in GOP-led states like Texas and Georgia have announced plans to welcome students again this fall as well as Purdue University in the home state of Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana.
– After Purdue chairman Mitch Daniels said his massive school had more than 30,000 undergraduates. plans to reopen, he deserved Trump’s praise. “I noticed where Purdue University, a great school and a great state, wants to open up and bring in students. I think that’s correct,” said Trump, who also pointed out that Harvard “wants students to come in. students return in the fall. “
– Harvard, often considered a leader among colleges, said in a statement last week: “Harvard will be open for fall 2020,” although not all activities can resume.
– But there is nothing uniform in decision making: President of Indiana University Michael McRobbie says a full return to teaching and research in person this fall is “highly unlikely,” although no decision has yet been made for its campuses. More from Bianca Quilantan and Juan Perez Jr.
“WE MUST RECOVER OUR SCHOOLS”: Speaking at a Fox News town hall, Trump said he was concerned about teachers returning to “a certain age” in the classroom.
– “If you have a teacher who is 65 or 70 years old and who suffers from diabetes, this one, I think he will have to be absent for a little while. unless we come up with the vaccine sooner, ”he said.
– Trump’s comments came in response to questions from a young teacher in Virginia, who said she wanted to be back in class, and a rising high school freshman from Minneapolis who asked how safe she would feel at school if a second wave of the virus hit.
– This teacher and student can wear masks for a while and be separated more than usual but they will be “in great shape,” Trump said.
– “We have to get our schools back. This virtual education is wonderful and frankly, it has taken a very positive step ”, he said, but later added that “there is nothing like having a meeting”. More from your host.
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GEORGIA DISTRICT STAFF RETURNS TO SCHOOL: Leaders of the Gwinnett County School District, located about 30 minutes northeast of downtown Atlanta, are recalling all staff and teachers over the next three weeks, raising concerns for their safety, 11Alive news station reported.
– The story sparked over 100 comments on the the station’s Facebook page. “It’s ridiculous!” a woman wrote. “These teachers have given so much in the last few weeks and now you are going to put their lives on the line by getting them into a school full of germs (no matter how clean you say it is).”
– The return to work plan provides for the return of certain members of the pedagogical support center staff Wednesday and other ISC staff and other school staff will return on May 11. Teachers return on May 18 for the last three days of school, to finish teaching, help students and close their classrooms, 11Alive reports.
AT NEW YORK: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that schools in the state will remain closed until June. A decision on the summer school will be taken by the end of May, Report by Nick Niedzwiadek and Anna Gronewold of POLITICO.
THE SCHOOLS WORKING GROUP MEETS TODAY: School superintendents from across the country will speak today about how to effectively reopen schools at the first virtual meeting of a recovery task force launched by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, to help district leaders to deal with the challenges caused by the coronavirus.
TRUMP WANTS PRIVATE K-12 SCHOOLS TO RETURN LOANS: A White House official said on Friday that Trump believes elite K-12 private schools should return federal funds received under an emergency small business loan program, in answering questions about a loan received by a school attended by Trump’s son.
– But the school, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, seemed to keep the loan, from Friday. “If the terms of the program change, we’ll do a review to make sure we’re in compliance and adjust accordingly,” said Richard Coco, spokesperson for St. Andrew’s.
– The White House comments came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier today called on elite private schools to repay the loans they received under the program, amid reports that Mnuchin’s children attend a school in Los Angeles that received a loan. “It has come to our attention that some private schools with large endowments have taken out #PPP loans,” Mnuchin said in a tweet. “They should return them.” More from Michael Stratford and your host.
A PHASE BACK TO SPORT: The NCAA begins to explain how college sports can make a slow and gradual comeback, including discouraging large gatherings in favor of virtual meetings and keeping gyms or common areas in athletic facilities closed unless schools adopt. “strict distancing and sanitation protocols”.
– College sports to see uneven return after ongoing pandemic, NCAA suggested on Friday while its medical experts issued initial guidelines on how schools can facilitate athletes’ return to training and competition. For now, all competitions and group practices are over.
– The resumption of sport “must be anchored” on the return of students and staff to campus, according to a brief NCAA document. “Ultimately, institutional and government leadership determines who can participate; assist with; and watch the training and competitions of the student-athletes, ”the document said.
– We don’t know when this process will start. Several universities have warned that crowded amphitheatres are unlikely to be allowed in the fall – let alone sold-out football stadiums on Saturdays. More Juan.
– The American Institute of Business went out with a new plan on what it will take to reopen American schools.
– The Board of Directors of State Schools posted a “Restart and recovery” framework outlining the decisions that heads of state will need to make before students can return to school buildings, “with an emphasis on physical safety, mental health and academic success for all students and in particular student populations the most vulnerable “.
– Backlash after backlash: Governors and medical officials are wary of rushing to reopen: POLITICS
– Kudlow: administration is “paused” before deciding on further relief from the virus: POLITICS
– Harvard review shows Jeffrey Epstein’s deep connections and big gifts: POLITICO Pro
– Nevada forms panel to help develop plan to reopen schools: Associated Press
– Managers find new ways to honor seniors during shutdown: New York Times