Despite Trump Administration Pushing for In-Person Learning, Accountable.US Found Schools Lack Testing, Have High Infection Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As President Trump and his administration push for schools to reopen, falsely claiming children are “virtually immune” and threatening to withhold federal funding for schools that do not abide, a new report by nonpartisan government watchdog Accountable.US found that states across the country requiring in-person learning do not have adequate testing rates to safely reopen schools and that students are being forced into unsafe environments.

The analysis by Accountable.US looked at testing and positivity rates in the five counties with the largest school districts in five states identified as having state-ordered in-person instruction available at least part-time, if not full-time — Florida, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, and South Carolina. None of the counties home to those school districts have adequate testing abilities to safely reopen schools — and all have dangerously high positivity rates.

“Despite 97,000 children testing positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July alone and while the number of children infected is skyrocketing, the Trump administration is still empty-handed when it comes to a coordinated plan to keep students in schools safe,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The president and his administration would be better off using their time and resources to get this pandemic under control, rather than putting the health of parents, children, teachers, school staff and their families at risk.”

The push from the Trump administration to return to school without providing reopening standards has resulted in some states charging ahead and requiring students to attend at least some portion of in-person schooling as schools reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, putting students, teachers, other school staff, and communities into harm’s way.

Additionally, Accountable.US is sending public records requests to education entities within the identified states for communications regarding the decision to reopen schools. This report and its findings will be published on and additional findings from the records request will be published on the “50 States Open Records” homepage.

Methodology: analyzed daily and weekly testing rates statewide and by county (where available) for the five counties with the largest school districts mandating in-person learning and found that not one of the identified counties have adequate testing rates to safely reopen schools.

A full report of the dangerous policies and actions can be found here.


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