PHOTO: American Wire
By: Keith Klein
Indiana Congressman Jim Banks (pictured above) introduced a bill to block federal funding for schools and colleges if they don’t offer classroom teaching by this fall.
Banks said the goal of his Reopen Our Schools Act is for schools to resume in-person, classroom teaching by Sept. 8. If the legislation is passed, schools could lose funding if they did not open by the deadline.
The legislation is “to prohibit the Secretary of Education from providing funding to certain educational institutions unless they return to in-person instruction.” The bill is co-authored with Wisconsin Representative Tom Tiffany. Banks represents Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District.
“We can’t expect our parents to go back to work if our kids are left at home,” he said.
Additionally, Banks, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, says wide-scale remote learning has not been effective.
“We have a whole generation of kids we are leaving behind if we don’t get them back in the classroom in the fall,” Banks said.
Keith Gambill, Indiana State Teachers Association president says threatening K-12 schools with loss of funds is not helpful. He described the legislation as “irresponsible.”
Gambill says Banks’ bill would hurt schools at a time when many districts are trying to help students who lack a device or broadband service at home. Access, he says, will be vital if schools continue some type of remote learning in the 2020-21 school year.
Political observers say it’s unlikely Banks’ legislation would gain enough support in the Democratic-controlled House to be approved.
The Coronavirus is delaying The 2021 Oscars ceremony to April 25, from its originally scheduled February 28.
The pandemic halted film production globally, decimated theater chains, and delayed summer’s most anticipated releases. Just last week Hollywood studios were allowed to restart film and TV production. The Academy is, also, putting together a task force to develop new diversity and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31.