First lady Jill Biden visited a New Jersey elementary school classroom on Monday where just two students were learning in-person and 17 were learning virtually.
The visit came as Biden touted her husband’s newly signed legislation providing COVID-19 relief, including funding for schools to reopen.
Two male students were in the classroom with Biden and playing a game, according to a pool report. Biden squatted behind the two in-person students and sat down at a computer to greet those attending virtually.
“Hello, nice to see all of you,” she said at Samuel Smith Elementary School in Burlington. “I’m a teacher too but I teach English. Tomorrow I will be doing the exact same thing with my students.”
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Her visit comes as parents and politicians across the country grew concerned about the pace of reopening, a process that continues to face roadblocks a year into the pandemic.
“I’m here to tell you with the American Rescue Plan, help is here,” the first lady said during a press conference outside of the school.
Biden told educators: “Even with your best efforts, students can’t come — they can’t come in every day, which means that their parents are still having to take time off work or figure out child care solutions.”
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“And this school, like schools across the country, can’t fully reopen without help,” she added, declaring that “we’re going to open schools and we’re going to do it safely.”
That particular school had welcomed students for in-person learning on a voluntary basis in October but switched to all remote in November. About half the students currently attend two days a week for in-person learning.