Florida Rep. Kat Cammack (R) and Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) have joined forces to introduce the Keep Kids in Schools Act of 2022.
If passed, “the bill would prohibit around $164 billion in unspent COVID relief funds from going to elementary and secondary schools that do not offer in-person instruction on a full-time basis for all enrolled students.” As well, the bill “would include an exception for schools that cannot provide in-person instruction due to personnel shortages in following the CDC’s quarantine and isolation guidelines.
GOP members have voiced their support for teachers providing in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tension rose after teachers in Chicago moved forward with not providing in-person education, which angered Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D).
In order to prevent something similar from happening in the Sunshine State, both Cammack and Rubio have joined forces in introducing legislation.
“Our students deserve and need to be in school,” said Cammack, adding that “after more than a year of on-and-off virtual and in-person education, it is no longer acceptable to keep students out of the classroom, forcing them to miss out on important milestones for their academic and social development.” Cammack further expressed that “in Florida, we’ve been fortunate to have Governor DeSantis leading the way and pushing for in-person instruction,” and she also noted that her partnership with Rubio is for an “important effort to get our kids back in the classroom.”
Rubio echoed in her remarks, saying that “students have already lost a year of in-person instruction, and the impacts on their well-being have been catastrophic.”
“Taxpayer dollars should not go to schools that cave to the ridiculous calls from teachers’ unions and their progressive allies to stay home.”
Calling the bill “commonsense,” Rubio explained that “if a school keeps students out of the classroom, it won’t recent any unspent federal relief funding.”
As a result, Rubio shared that “nearly everyone in America agrees that our kids need to be in school.”