LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — President Trump suggested on Thursday that the next potential round of stimulus cash meant to help schools amid the COVID-19 crisis be redirected to parents for school choice if public schools fail to open for in-person instruction.
President Trump made the statements during a White House news conference regarding the COVID-19 situation.
The president said the CDC released new guidelines to schools on Thursday for a safe reopening for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The president quoted a number of studies and a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics which indicate prolonged isolation is bad for children which may include learning loss, underdeveloped social skills, and increased risk for neglect and harm.
He told reporters that remote learning through computers and the internet is not a replacement for in-person classroom instruction.
The president suggested a different approach in order to force the hands of schools to physically reopen.
"If schools do not reopen the funding should go to parents to send their child to public, private, charter, religious or home-school or other choice. The keyword being choice, if the school is closed the money should follow the student, so the parents are in control of their own decisions I like the money to go to the parents of the student," explained the president.
The conditions of the next potential stimulus are being worked out in Washington D.C. and the president indicated Congress is considering $105 billion dollars for public schools.
According to the United States Constitution, the executive branch of the US government does not have the authority to direct how money is spent.
The US House of Representatives holds the 'power of the purse.'
While the US Senate can provide input for spending, the responsibility remains in congress.
The president has considerable agenda-setting power, it is not absolute.
The president can veto spending bills, but Congress can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal government spends about $14,000 per student, per school year for public education.
13 Investigates reached out to the Clark County School District for comment on the president's suggestion, but we did not immediately hear back.