Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan Weighs Push To Reopen US Schools

Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama, shares his perspective on the Trump administration's push for schools to reopen in the fall.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan listens while former President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press in 2015. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump repeated his threat on Friday to withhold federal education funding if schools remain closed at the start of the coming school year.

Meanwhile, teachers and administrators are planning for how to start the school year as the nation breaks records for new daily cases of coronavirus.

Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education under President Obama, says Trump has “no authority” to force schools to reopen in the fall. He says many parents, teachers and students all want schools to open, but state and local leaders need to determine whether it is safe to do so.

“What we obviously need to do to make our schools safe is to make our communities safer,” he says. “It’s actually [Trump’s] tremendous lack of leadership, just horrific leadership over

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