President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited an elementary school and community college in Virginia on Monday to promote the President’s sweeping economic proposals and how they would benefit schools if signed into law.
Biden touted his recently-unveiled $1.8 trillion American Families Plan as “a once-in-a-generation investment in our families, in our children, that addresses what people care most about and most need: the investment we need to win the competition, the competition with other nations in the future.”
“Because we’re in a race. We’re in a race. It all starts with access to good education,” Biden said in remarks at Tidewater Community College.
The trip is part of the “Getting America Back on Track” tour aimed at highlighting the President’s accomplishments within his first 100 days in office and making the case for his ambitious new spending proposals focused on infrastructure, climate, education, child care and paid family leave.
The President and first lady visited an elementary school in Yorktown Monday morning and later traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, to visit an HVAC workshop at the community college.
Biden focused on the education portion of his sweeping proposals during the trip. The American Families Plan, which he unveiled last month, is a large-scale investment in education, child care and paid family leave that would total $1.8 trillion.
It also comes amid a push by the Biden administration to reopen schools that were forced online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The President said in an interview with NBC that aired last week that K-12 schools “should probably all be open” in the fall for in-person learning, leaving some wiggle room because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, according to a top aide. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told CNN on Friday the administration was continuing to push to have schools open this spring.
Cardona noted more than 80% of educators have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The Biden administration asked states to prioritize teachers for Covid-19 vaccines earlier this year as part of its push to reopen schools.
The Biden administration allocated nearly $130 billion to K-12 schools to help students return to the classroom after the coronavirus pandemic forced many classes online across the country. The funding was made possible after Congress passed Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package earlier this year.
Schools will be able to use the funding to reduce class sizes, update ventilation systems, help implement social distancing, buy personal protective equipment and hire support staff.
Now the White House is focused on the next major legislative push.
The American Families Plan is part of a two-part package aimed at helping the nation’s economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Biden in April proposed the American Jobs Plan, a roughly $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and shift the country to greener energy.