Trump’s campaign to open schools provokes mounting backlash even from GOP

Christel Deskins

President Donald Trump has been on a rampage against public schools and colleges all week, threatening to use the power of the federal government to strong-arm officials into reopening classrooms.

But his effort is now creating a backlash: An overwhelming alignment of state and even Republican-aligned organizations oppose the rush to reopen schools. The nation’s leading pediatricians, Republican state school chiefs, Christian colleges and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all challenged parts of Trump’s pressure campaign.

“Threats are not helpful,” Joy Hofmeister, the Republican state superintendent of public instruction in Oklahoma, told POLITICO on Friday. “We do not need to be schooled on why it’s important to reopen.”

Both Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have issued federal funding threats to schools that don’t fully reopen. On Friday, Trump went a step further in blasting online learning — which many school districts and colleges are planning to use

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