Pence on Trump administration's push to reopen schools: 'We can't let our kids fall behind academically'

Vice President Pence on push to re-open America’s schools, US withdrawal from WHO, threat from China

To open up America it’s absolutely essentially that we open up America’s schools, Vice President Mike Pence tells Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier on ‘Special Report.’

Vice President Mike Pence told "Special Report" Tuesday that American schools must reopen as usual this autumn despite the coronavirus pandemic because "we can't let our kids fall behind academically."

"Bret, you're a parent," Pence told host Bret Baier. "You understand that it's far beyond academics, that millions of families rely on our local schools. Many of our children, that struggle with emotional challenges or … disabilities, they receive those services at school. Add into that nutrition, add into that other other ways that we serve our kids.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION VOWS TO WORK 'HAND IN HAND' WITH LOCAL GOVERNORS TO REOPEN SCHOOLS 

"It's absolutely essential that we get back to school," Pence added, "and the president's going to continue to focus effort on that, but also also work with our governors to see those plans implemented."

Trump administration officials said Tuesday it is their “goal” to work “hand in hand” with local governments and jurisdictions to safely reopen schools after most districts across America ended in-person instruction for the 2019-2020 academic year in March or April.

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The president and first lady Melania Trump hosted a “dialogue” on the issue Tuesday afternoon at the White House, where Trump said he would “very much put pressure” on governors to reopen.

"We wanted to make it clear we don't want the federal government to be the reason why you don't reopen your local school," Pence said.

Pence also pledged that the White House coronavirus task force that he heads would make sure to work with Republican and Democratic governors to "safely" open schools.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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