Republicans Slam Biden For Ignoring Pandemic Learning Loss
President Joe Biden delivered his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, but the gist of his speech was already well known before he began speaking.
Republican critics spoke out against the planned remarks well before the president delivered them this week, including a rebuke of his attempt to whitewash the impact that pandemic lockdowns had on the nation’s schoolchildren.
While Biden was expected to tout the massive amount of money the federal government poured into ostensible COVID-19 relief projects, House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) lamented that he “will refuse to mention … how his policies have failed students.”
In a statement released prior to the address, she wrote: “Rather than focusing on protecting the rights of workers, job creators, students, and parents, the president will talk out of both sides of his mouth, showcasing his administration’s hypocrisy front and center for every American to see.”
Evidence of pandemic-related learning loss has been plentiful in recent months, particularly in the results of standardized testing. According to an exam administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 9-year-old students fell two decades behind in the subjects of math and reading while eighth-grade students in 49 out of 50 U.S. states scored failing grades in math.
The State of the Union address was not the first time that Foxx spoke out against the Biden administration’s approach to education. She teamed up with Rep. James Comer (R-KY), who is the current chairman of the House Oversight Committee, last year to request information from the Department of Education regarding how pandemic funding was spent in public schools.
While the White House indicated that the resources would be used to provide additional education opportunities for those students who fell behind during the pandemic, the Education Department determined that just 20% of those funds were tied to combatting learning loss.
In a subsequent statement, Foxx and Comer asserted that the government largesse was often used to support the Biden administration’s leftist education agenda — including so-called “anti-racist” training and the purchase of electric school buses.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), a member of the Oversight Committee, denounced the Democratic Party’s priorities on the issue, asserting: “They’re not serious about the things that America is focused on — definitely not pandemic learning loss — because if they were they would’ve got kids back in classrooms. Democrats don’t want to actually put hard ties on the spending. They love it going to pet projects in these school districts.”