WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Department of Defense wants the thousands of children who attend school on military bases back in class in person this fall.
“The best education is face to face in a classroom,” Department of Defense Education Activity Director Thomas Brady said Thursday.
But the Department of Defense is not forcing the issue. Brady said the department’s plan for the new school year includes options for both in-person classes and remote or virtual learning for kids that attend school on U.S. military bases here and overseas.
There are currently 10,000 students enrolled virtually across the globe with more schools switching to remote learning.
“In the United States, 25 of 50 schools will be remote – to include Fort Benning and Fort Bragg among others,” Brady said.
“Military children – (it’s) just like everywhere else, you gotta go on a base-by-base determination,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) said Thursday.
Jones said the DoD is doing back to school the right way.
“That if they do have in-person learning, they can do it in a safe and healthy way,” he said.
“If military academies can do it, I think our schools can do it,” Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) added.
Steube – who served in the army – said cadets that are already back at the college-level military academies are doing fine.
“You haven’t seen any spikes or any issues at all at any of our military academies,” he said.
“There will be a balance and we’ll reach it,” Brady said.
As military elementary, middle and high school classrooms prepare to reopen, the Dept. of Defense says it will stand ready to react to COVID outbreaks.
“We’re prepared for it,” Brady added.
He said the DoD will do whatever it needs to, to keep military families safe.