Despite Trump threat, growing number of school districts move to virtual learning to start academic year
July 24, 2020
Washington — As the start of the next academic year draws closer and the coronavirus crisis continues to worsen across the country, a growing number of school districts are opting to keep students out of the classroom and making the switch to virtual learning for the fall semester.
The Trump administration is pressuring school systems to open for classroom learning five days a week and has warned that federal funding could hinge on whether they do so. While the president cannot cut funding already approved by Congress, the administration can attach conditions for K-12 schools to receive future federal assistance. But that threat hasn't stopped dozens of school districts from moving to virtual instruction when they reopen in the fall.
A compilation of reopening plans from Education Week, a trade publication focusing on K-12 education, shows that more than 80 school districts are reopening with remote learning only. Of the nation's 10 largest school systems, five have either firmed up plans to start the new school year solely with online instruction or their superintendents have recommended doing so: Los Angeles Unified School District, Clark County School District in Nevada, Broward County Public Schools in Florida, Houston Independent School District and the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida.