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Trump threatens to withhold federal funds for schools that don't reopen in the fall

Trump threatens to withhold federal funds for schools that don't reopen in the fall
Posted at 7:38 AM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 20:56:11-04

President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal money if schools don’t reopen in the fall.

He says the guidelines that his own federal health officials have created for schools to reopen are impractical and expensive.

Trump isn't saying what funds would be cut off or what authority he had to make the move.

San Diego Unified School Board Vice President Richard Barrera contested the president's authority to cut funding.

"He does not have that power. The federal aid that’s going to schools is approved by congress and under law, it has to be distributed to schools," Barrera said.

In the 2018-19 school year, San Diego Unified received about $105 million in federal revenue, about 7.4% of its general fund budget.

Barrera said SDUSD "desperately" wants to reopen campuses August 31, but said reopening can only occur if the viral spread is sufficiently under control and the district has appropriate funding for safety measures.

Taking to Twitter to voice frustration, Trump argues that countries including Germany, Denmark and Norway have reopened schools “with no problems.”

He's also repeating his claim that Democrats want to keep schools closed for political reasons, not because of coronavirus risks.