On his first full day in office, President Biden signed several executive orders, including one that would his goal of reopening schools during his first 100 days in office. It is called, "Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers."
The strategy includes ramping up testing, speeding up the rollout of vaccines, especially for teachers and school staff, and more funding for schools. The president said it puts the “full force of the government” behind the efforts.
“I think the first step is the president has taken a stand for schools to reopen within the next 100 days,” said Ginny Merrifield, co-founder of Parent Association of North County San Diego, an organization urging districts to reopen. "I think that’s the first step is we have national leadership. We need to open schools and then the funding will come.”
The organization’s co-founder, Scott Davison, who is also a parent, said he does not think funding is the issue keeping schools from reopening, but rather the will from local and state leaders.
“I think it’s more of a regulatory issue at a state and local level that’s the problem and will not be solved by a federal funding bill," Davison said.
Heather Dugdale is a parent whose children are in the San Dieguito Union School District. She has an opposite view on school reopening, saying schools should not reopen yet, based on the surging rate of coronavirus cases in the county. She is hopeful about President Biden’s plan.
“When he says he wants to reopen schools, it’s not a rushed reopening, you know, open at all costs. It’s open based on science, truth, and fact," Dugdale said.
President Biden's efforts to support reopening schools within 100 days do not require schools to reopen within a certain time frame.