Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis said the Biden administration failed to mention the “real reason” for the learning loss in K-12 public schools over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the White House said that American K-12 public school students “are on average two to four months behind in reading and math because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Casey DeSantis spoke up, saying that “Democrat lockdowns” were to blame.
“The latest ‘report’ from the Biden administration ignores the real reason for catastrophic learning loss: Democrat lockdowns,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Casey DeSantis, the wife of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, noted that her husband kept schools open for in-classroom learning in his state.
“While other states were locking people down, in Florida [Gov. Ron DeSantis] lifted people up—Kids were in school, in person,” she added.
This comes one day after the Biden administration on Tuesday announced a plan that aims to add 250,000 tutors and mentors nationally within the next three years in a bid “to help address the impact of missed instruction on our nation’s students.”
“Now—more than ever—students need to feel supported, seen, heard, and understood by adults in their schools and communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement.
President Joe Biden called on schools to use the $122 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to support summer learning, and afterschool and tutoring programs to help students “make up for lost learning time” and support their mental health.
The program is a partnership between the Department of Education, AmeriCorps, and Everyone Graduates Center, a think tank affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.
“Together, we can help all children make up for unfinished learning, recover from the pandemic, and prepare for future success—both inside and outside the classroom,” Cardona said.
Florida Kept Schools Open
In February 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidelines to encourage a mix of hybrid in-person and remote learning for elementary schools, and exclusively remote learning for middle and high schools.
Gov. DeSantis criticized the guidelines and states run by Democrats for following them. He noted that children in Democrat-run states had already been out of school for almost a year and that to follow the updated CDC guidelines would not be in their best interest.
He called it a “disgrace” and said that it was “putting politics ahead of what’s right for kids.”
“Every single parent in this state has a right to send their kid to in-person instruction. We have done it the right way; we are not going to turn back,” DeSantis said on Feb. 15, 2021, during a press conference.
“We have been open. They will remain open, and we are not turning back,” he declared.