In Indy: Vice President Mike Pence says ‘it’s imperative’ students return to school

INDIANAPOLIS — White House officials visiting Indianapolis on Friday said it’s imperative students return to school this fall and encouraged decision-makers to consider all aspects of a child’s health.

Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, joined Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and leaders of Marian University for a discussion about how to safely reopen K-12 schools and and universities. The roundtable was held in Indianapolis at Marian University, which plans to reopen for on campus classes this fall.

Pence, Indiana’s former governor, commended Holcomb and Hoosiers for the work they’ve done to try to combat the coronavirus, then emphasized the importance of open schools.

“The truth is to open up America again, we have to open up America’s schools,” Pence said. “It’s important to remember the risk of coronavirus to healthy children is very low. It’s also important to remember that there are real costs far beyond academics to our kids if they’re not in school.”

Many students rely on schools for meals or to receive special education services that can’t be delivered online, Pence said. And students need the social interaction that school brings, DeVos said.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.