Varney: Reopening schools will be ‘biggest fight’ of coronavirus era

'America needs educated students and an economic recovery'

FOX Business’ Stuart Varney, in his latest “My Take,” argues that pushing to reopen schools amid coronavirus will be “exceptionally difficult” regarding safety, but the kids must get back to learning.

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“Reopening the schools: that is going to be the biggest fight thus far," he said. "Youngsters need education. And the economy needs workers freed from childcare duties. But it’s going to be exceptionally difficult. How do you assure teachers that they will be safe? You can't.”

Varney said one-quarter of all public school teachers are over the age of 50, making them most vulnerable to the virus. And one in five New York City teachers has asked for a medical exemption, opting to not return to the classroom.

VARNEY: NEW YORK CITY IS A VIRUS VICTIM

“Right there you have a staffing problem,” he said.

Another concern in reopening will be the battle in keeping kids six feet apart. Varney said some schools will attempt to use a shift system to spread students out and keep them in the classroom only a few days a week.

Interior of classroom in elementary school. Row of empty desks are in illuminated room.

“Fine, but that doesn't help parents who work five days a week,” he said. “And they still have to help with online learning.”

Varney said another “complicating factor” is the spike in cases seen in states where businesses have reopened, including Florida which reported record numbers on Sunday.

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“More young people are coming down with it,” he said. “Teenagers mingle in high school. There will be an understandable reluctance by many parents to send their youngsters back to class.”

According to Varney, reopening schools will be a “hodge-podge” of different schedules, guidelines and precautions depending on local conditions. Juggling all the factors like masks, temperature checks and a looming vaccine, he said, will be a “mess” but it’s essential for moving the economy.

“Clearly, back-to-school is a daunting challenge, yet it must be done,” he said. “We cannot write off the education of our youngsters for a whole year: that’s not fair to the kids. And it’s not fair to financially hard-pressed parents who need to get back to work. America needs educated students and an economic recovery."

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