The debate over the resumption of schools in California

Good morning.

It has been a month since the government Gavin Newsom presented his Safe schools for all plans, where he aims to open schools for personal learning again in February or March.

But with the February 16 deadline to open schools likely, there is no telling how many districts have actually signed up to adopt the plan. Education leaders and teachers have openly criticized it and negotiated details seems to be still. Parents, who are eager to get their children back to personal learning this year, have organized a campaign to safely reopen schools as the number of cases decreases.

The debate repeats what is happening across the country, as President Biden’s pressure to open schools for the first 100 days have been met with caution from the teachers’ associations, which wants to lower the expectations that students will return to the classrooms before the end of the school year.

Here is what we know about the state of school resumption so far.

Mr Newsom’s plan risks failing.

This week, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that schools could be opened safely, but the message came with a caution: it is only certain if other precautions are taken to stop the spread of society. This means sharpening, not loosening, limitations, as Mr. Newsom did this week.

Emily Oster, Professor of Economics and General Policy at Brown University, told my colleague Roni Caryn Rabin that low falls in society make it possible to keep schools safe.

“Prioritizing schools will mean limiting some of the other activities and deciding that we want to make some of these sacrifices to keep the schools open, because we as a society have decided that schools are important in relation to other things,” says Dr. In Easter.

The governor’s plan requires schools to reopen when the infection rate drops to 25 positive cases per 100,000 county residents.

Although cases in California are declining, hospital stays are still higher than when the most stringent lock-in measures were announced. At present, most of the state’s population falls below the most restrictive purple level.

In addition, the plan’s grant fund falls to $ 2 billion, which breaks down to $ 450 per student, what is needed for schools to function safely, some say. This is largely due to the fact that the plan requires increased virus testing of students and staff, which individual schools would have to pay for.

Leader of four of the state’s largest school districts criticized the plan in a letterand says it does not meet the needs of urban districts, all of which have students living below the poverty level. They also called for public health funds, not money already earmarked for education, to be used to pay for the additional security measures, citing the lack of clear consistent guidelines from leaders.

Parents and legislators are increasing the pressure to open schools.

This month, lawmakers advanced Collective Bill 10 as an emergency law that would require public schools to reopen within two weeks of moving out of the purple level.

It was created in response to the fact that some school districts did not reopen for personal education, even though they were eligible last year.

The bill calls on schools to open their doors when they reach the red level, which means that they have a significantly fewer cases than what the governor’s plan requires.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Private schools, such as the one where Mr. Newsom’s children go on, have been open to personal learning for several months.

Parents, who have recently organized themselves into a group called, also support the bill Open Schools California and to have started a public campaign to reopen schools.

They quote studies showing low transfer rates for Covid-19 in schools and anecdotal evidence from their own children, which they say has been damaged by distance learning.

Teachers demand more leadership and protection.

Many teachers and school staff say they will not return to personal learning in the current climate, with cases still at extremely high levels and more variations emerging.

Another point of contact is vaccines, as many say are non-negotiable to return to classrooms. California Teachers Association prescribed the need for vaccines and said no to resuming schools while they were in the purple level ia letter to the governor on Wednesday.

Mr. Newsom has said that teachers will be included in the priority list for next month’s pictures. However, there are not enough vaccines to go around as it is.

“The virus is responsible right now and it does not own a calendar,” said CTA members. “We can not just choose an artificial calendar date and expect to turn a switch to open each school for personal instruction.”

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Sign up to have it delivered to your inbox.)


On Thursday, Shirley Weber was confirmed as California’s next Secretary of State and filled the vacancy that Alex Padilla left. Pictures showed the moment when unanimous voting came through, with Mrs. Weber is tearing up over the news. When she is sworn in on Friday, she will be the first black woman to serve in the role of chief election official.


California today airs at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays in Pacific time. Tell us what you want to see: [email protected]. Did you forward this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported across the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow here or further Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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