Kevin Faulconer calls on Newsom to mandate school reopening immediately
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Some of California’s biggest school districts are starting to reopen classrooms this week.
But California is lagging the rest of the country, and in some cases offering options that parents say are unacceptable.
As of March 29, more than 40% of districts nationwide had offered all students the option to return to full-time in-person instruction, according to the Return to Learn Tracker, developed in part by the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
California ranks last in the country, according to Burbio, a company that monitors some 1,200 school districts, including the largest 200 in the country.
An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that just 3 million of California’s 6.2 million K-12 students now have the option to learn in a classroom, and most are younger children. Even in schools offering an in-person return, some kids will receive only a few hours a week of classroom instruction.
California’s governor has declared a return to business as usual in June. He pleaded Wednesday with districts to reopen, saying he’s responded to teachers’ demands.
Teachers unions have outsized political power in the Democratic-led state, and Newsom is expected to face a recall election partly over his handling of the pandemic. Last week, the Democratic governor said California plans to lift nearly all pandemic restrictions by June 15.
“There will be no barrier to having our kids back in in-person instruction,” he said. “That is our expectation.”
But most students will be on summer vacation by then.
Advocates of reopening argue that online learning exacerbates the achievement gap between poor and minority students and their white and Asian peers. Many private schools and some smaller California school districts have been open for months.
“Our public schools should be open now, not months from now but now.” said California Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Faulconer on Good Evening San Diego.