Dems had no problem with threats to cut federal school funding when Obama made them

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Democrats and Left-wing cable news pundits blasted President Donald Trump earlier this week when threatened to withhold funding from public school districts that did not reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, when President Barack Obama issued a similar threat some of the same Democrats and pundits were silent and even supportive, Matt Margolis at PJ Media noted.

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway,  Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!” Trump tweeted July 8.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1280853299600789505

The president’s reelection campaign followed up his tweet with a video clip featuring the country’s top immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying, “It is very important to get children back to school for the unintended negative consequences that occur when we keep them out of school.”

But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a frequent critic of the president, immediately pushed back against President Trump, saying “school reopenings are a state decision. Period. That is the law, and that is the way we’re going to proceed. It’s not up to the president of the United States.”

He added that several media outlets claimed Trump doesn’t have the authority to withhold school funding.

But in May 2016, to push public school acceptance of transgenderism, the Obama administration stated that the Departments of Justice and Education would “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX,” while issuing directives to all public schools to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that aligned with their “gender identity.”

The implication was that schools not in compliance would face legal and financial consequences.

The New York Times reported that while the Obama administration directive “does not have the force of law, … it contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.”

“I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed,” Obama said at the time, defending his directive.

For his part, Cuomo did not oppose Obama’s initiative. Rather, he attacked Trump when he rescinded the rule.

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also panned Trump’s threat.

“Decisions about school and how to have it, onsite or otherwise, will remain with the state of Washington,” he said.

But Inslee praised Obama’s threat.

“I applaud the Obama administration for establishing policies that will better provide all our children an opportunity to thrive,” he said then.

Trump has been advocating for reopening of the economy, professional sports leagues and education institutions despite the still-present COVID-19 outbreak, premising his position on ‘the science’ — research that has indicated, for months, that only certain demographics are at risk for contracting severe cases of the disease and dying.

Those categories do not include school-age children, younger healthy athletes, or young college-age Americans, the president has said.

However, amid reports that some governors and school districts were planning to either delay reopening or have another school year where children engaged in online learning, the president issued his threat — which also has not sat well with some Democrat-aligned teachers unions.

“Trump and DeVos woke up yesterday about the importance of public schooling. They demanded schools reopen but they didn’t offer any plans or resources to support schools,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted in response.

“Trump and DeVos may want to play it fast and loose with the lives of people who go to restaurants and hair salons, but we’re not willing to play it fast and loose with the kids and teachers who go to schools,” Weingarten noted further.

 

 

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Jon Dougherty

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