July 17 (Reuters) - Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Friday hammered President Donald Trump’s approach to reopening schools during a pandemic, and suggested $34 billion in additional funding may be needed to educate children safely.
Biden’s campaign laid out a five-part plan for how the federal government should approach school reopenings, arguing that they can only happen once more measures are taken to stop the novel coronavirus.
That could include as much as $34 billion in more federal aid than even Biden’s Democratic Party has already proposed to help school districts make modifications for social distancing, protective equipment, sanitation and upgrading internet broadband, Biden’s campaign said.
The Trump administration has been pushing for schools to reopen in the fall, which would allow many parents to return to work and help revive the economy.
School districts across the country are taking a cautious approach to reopening after the summer break as the coronavirus has infected more than 3.5 million Americans and killed nearly 140,000, both figures leading the world.
The issue of school reopenings is quickly becoming key to the Nov. 3 election, with both candidates playing to parents struggling to balance their duties to employers and their families since schools closed.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he expects the next coronavirus aid bill to provide a “significant amount of money” to help U.S. K-12 schools to reopen safely.
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