Migrant children from Central American countries are reportedly receiving in-person learning from teachers from the San Diego Unified School District. At the same time, public schools in the city are still remote for students.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Fox News’ Kristin Fisher asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the report.
She said, “I’d like to find out what the White House thinks about what’s happening in San Diego where some teachers are providing in-person instruction at the San Diego Convention Center to migrant children before their own public school students. And these kids, of course, about 130,000 of them have been at home doing online learning for about a year now. So what does the White House think about that?”
Psaki responded, “I know you guys have a fair amount of reporting on this… As I understand it, San Diego public schools are opening in early-April.”
Fisher noted that the schools will be opening for a hybrid system of learning on April 12.
Psaki continued, “And students will be back in the classroom. And as I understand it, this is related part-time, and certainly, you know our objective from the White House: opening up five days a week — the majority of schools across the country. And they’re on spring break right now. And this is related to volunteering or being paid. I’m not even sure, you’d have to ask the local school district.”
Fisher then read a quote from San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond where he said, “It’s great that there’s in-person learning for those unaccompanied minors from Central America, but I wish every child in San Diego County was allowed the same opportunity for in-person teaching.”
She asked, “Does the White House think that this sends the right message to these 130,000 kids in San Diego and their parents who have been stuck at home for the last year?”
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Psaki pushed back as she said “context is important,” and noted that students will soon be receiving a mix of in-person and online learning beginning early-April. She also noted that right now, they are on spring break.
“Which I think the context is pretty important,” she added.
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) told Fox News in a statement that it is “providing the educational program for the unaccompanied migrant children who will be staying at the San Diego Convention Center through July.”
“All children in California, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to education. We also have a moral obligation to ensure a bright future for our children,” it added.
It said the learning program includes “English language development and social-emotional learning opportunities.”
Additionally, the SDCOE said the teachers were participating in the instruction voluntarily.