Tags: Coronavirus | Education | Health Topics | Vaccines | Cold/Flu | california | schools

California Plans $2B to Reopen Elementary Schools in February

gavin newsom gestures during a news conference
California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 December 2020 04:51 PM

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state will spend $2 billion in an effort to reopen elementary schools in February, Politico reports.

Under the plan, masks, other PPE, and testing would be provided to school districts that start conducting in-person learning again.

The state, which is currently under a lockdown, has mostly been holding school virtually since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Some school districts in smaller areas opened in the fall, but a majority stayed shuttered and focused on online learning.

Under Newsom's reopening plan, the focus would be on getting younger children in kindergarten through second grade back inside classrooms. Priority will be given to districts with large numbers of low-income students, foster youth, or English learners.

"As a parent of very young children, in-person instruction, there's just no substitute for it," Newsom said. "It's just so much more difficult for a 4-year-old to focus on a device than a 14-year-old."

But Newsom might face pushback, according to Politico. The California Teachers Association said it still feels that campuses should not reopen until counties reach the state's red tier of infections, a level far lower than where most counties are now.

In California, teachers are expected to be next in line for vaccines. Newsom said he would prioritize school staff as well. In addition, the state would launch a public database that tracks transmissions in schools.

Newsom said his plan would go into effect when counties reduce their daily new cases below 28 per 100,000 residents. The state is currently facing a surge of cases. The state is currently averaging 93 new daily cases per 100,000, according to Politico.

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US
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state will spend $2 billion in an effort to reopen elementary schools in February, Politico reports.
california, schools, gavin newsom, teachers unions
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2020-51-30
Wednesday, 30 December 2020 04:51 PM
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