On Monday, Governor of California, Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders came to an agreement that would give school districts $2 billion. These funds will be used for students in transitional kindergarten to Grade 2 by April 1.
Assembly bill 86 provides all the details. Financial incentives will be offered to school districts which offer in-person instruction. The counties should have less than 25 new daily confirmed cases per 100,000 residents. Many counties meet these criteria as the coronavirus spread in California has slowed down.
Counties in the red tier with seven or fewer cases have to provide classroom learning to all elementary school students. They also have to extend it to at least one grade middle or high school students, to get all the allocated funds.
The proposal is supposed to be passed on Thursday. It is not mandatory for all schools to open. The decision will be taken by local education authorities or as per agreements between districts and unions. Parents also have the choice to let their children attend or to continue with virtual learning.
Some parents have been strident in their demand to open the schools. They feel that the step to open already been delayed as per Newsom’s earlier promised plan.
However, the strongest debate has been about the vaccination of educators. Finally, the governor agreed to give 10% of California’s weekly vaccine doses for child care and K-12 staff.
On Monday, public health officials announced that it could surpass the 75,000 weekly vaccine doses that were to be provided.
Los Angeles Unified School district officials believe that campuses could open by the second week of April. However, the time frame will ultimately be set after consultations with the teachers union.
The move to open all elementary schools at the earliest is the first concrete step forward in the state during this academic year. Data about COVID-19 cases in classrooms that have opened has not been released but it is said that it would be released mid-month.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has been under pressure from parents to open schools. They are a big voting block and he could be the prospect of a recall by the end of the year.
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