“I’m a big believer that for young children, the benefits in almost every location — particularly if you can protect the teachers as well — the benefits outweigh the costs,” the billionaire philanthropist said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview aired Tuesday.
“As you get up to age, like, 13 and higher, then you’ll have to look at your locale to decide what you’ll do with high schools,” Gates said. “And if they’re not in, then you have to put massive effort into trying to get there to be continued learning online.”
School districts throughout the country have been grappling with the decision in recent months, after locking up classes in March.
But Gates’s foundation has financed research for a coronavirus vaccine, said a return to school is vital, particularly for students in low-income and minority communities, who have been hard hit by the virus.
“Our foundation has revamped our education work to really jump in and help,” he said. “Make sure that minority students and low-income students aren’t suffering the most throughout all of this.”