Proposal to reopen schools for in-person classes fails Senate vote

Sen. Blunt introduces proposal to reopen schools for in-person classes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFVS) - An amendment to the budget for reopening schools to in-person classes failed a vote in the Senate.

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced the amendment on Thursday, February 4.

It failed by a vote of 50-50 in the Senate on Thursday.

The proposal would require schools to return students to the classroom after teachers have received a COVID-19 vaccine, if not additional federal relief funding will be withheld.

Before the vote, Sen. Blunt spoke about the amendment.

In a released joint statement, both Sen. Blunt and Scott believe the proposal is in the best interest for students.

“The evidence is clear: school closures are hurting students,” said Blunt. “Prolonged remote learning is putting kids at higher risk of falling behind, failing classes, and suffering from mental health problems. That risk is even greater for students with disabilities and students in underserved areas. Public health professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said we should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and get kids back into classrooms.”

Blunt urged senators on both sides to support the measure.

“Keeping our nation’s students out of the classroom for a year is permanently injuring the educational aspirations and opportunities of an entire generation,” said Scott. “The children most negatively impacted are those who are growing up poor, just like I did. While teacher unions and their allies continue to change the rules as we go, we must be clear: if you have been vaccinated, it’s time to get back into the classroom.”

The full text of the amendment can be found here.

On Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also submitted an amendment to the budget to return students to the classroom for in-person learning.

Sen. Hawley’s proposal would require schools to return to in-person learning or lose federal relief funding.

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