Parent & Co-founder of Reopen SDUSD upset Richard Barrera is ‘calling his own shots’
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced a multibillion-dollar deal today aimed at enticing schools to resume in-person instruction for young students by April 1, but previously existing San Diego Unified plans for COVID vaccinations of teachers and reduced transmission rates make it unlikely the district will meet that date.
The deal — which still needs formal legislative approval — would create a $2 billion incentive pool, with money doled out to schools that reopen campuses for students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, as well as high-need students of all ages. The money will go toward safety improvements, such as ventilation systems and protective equipment.
The proposal does not order schools to reopen, but schools that fail to do so by April 1 will lose a percentage of their funds for every day they miss the deadline.
San Diego Unified School District leaders announced last week they set a targeted date of April 12 to allow students of all grade levels to return to the classroom — provided the county drops into the red tier of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system — nearly a year after the district closed its schools due to the pandemic.
Plus, San Diego Unified wants ALL teachers AND school staff to be vaccinated before returning, bringing that April 12 target date into question.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s school reopening plan doesn’t require all teachers to be vaccinated, but Tuesday morning, Board of Education President Richard Barrera told KUSI’s Lauren Phinney that he disagrees with that.
Barrera’s decision to go against Governor Newsom’s plan are being highly criticized by the Reopen SDUSD group.
Parent and co-founder of Reopen SDUSD, Leslie Hoffmeister, joined KUSI’s Paul Rudy on Good Morning San Diego to explain why the organization is so frustrated to hear that Barrera “is calling his own shots” and going against Newsom’s reopening plan.
As a parent, Hoffmeister said, “the first announcement that Newsom made about kids returning to school was in December, and the incentivizing plan started there, now here we are on round two.” Adding that, “we have 6 million students in California that are still out of school.”
Hoffmeister slammed Barrera for “taking the demands from the unions, and the unions tell him what to do.” Adding, “there’s absolutely no negotiating for the behalf of our children. So our kids still are suffering egregious harms, the benefits of them being back in-person far outweigh the risks, and for whatever reason, we have a lack of leadership, we have a lack of backbone to do the right thing for our students in San Diego Unified.”
Earlier Tuesday, Richard Barrera discussed his disagreement with Governor Newsom in more detail on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego: