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Home / US / The governor of California proposes a plan to reopen face-to-face schools for $2 billion

The governor of California proposes a plan to reopen face-to-face schools for $2 billion



California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a plan on Wednesday that requires schools to resume in-person teaching next spring, starting with the youngest students and those who struggle most with distance learning, while providing the state government with $2 billion. Coronavirus testing assistance, personal protective equipment and increased classroom ventilation.

Newsom said: “Safety is the key. Merely reopening schools for face-to-face guidance will not solve the safety problem.” Northum said, and promised to impose sanctions on schools that fail to comply with safety rules.

But he said, “Teaching in person…is our default choice,”

; he cited the pitfalls of distance learning, including anxiety, depression and undetected child abuse.

The chairman of the largest teachers union in California said he was pleased that Newsom “finally realized” the requirement for strict safety standards as part of any reopening plan. E. Toby Boyd, president of the California Teachers Association, said he hopes that the official guidelines that Newsom plans to release next week “will create a unified statewide plan instead of bringing more confusion to parents and school districts.”

Newsom, a Democrat, said that his government has had several months of dialogue with influential teachers’ unions and has a “very, very constructive relationship” with powerful bargaining units.

On August 26, 2020, during the lunch break at the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles, students from the Los Angeles Unified School District stand social distancing in the hallway.Jae C. Hong / AP file

State Director of Public Education Tony Thurmond said that the government’s assurance of frequent testing and contact tracking during an outbreak is critical to making teachers feel comfortable in the classroom again.

Jeff Freitas, president of the California Federation of Teachers, pointed out that Newsom promised to provide funds to the state, provide vaccines for educators and give priority to safety, calling it “our state and its schools A starting point for in-person lessons to be considered.”

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, responded to Newsom’s argument that schools can be opened safely, and pointed out in an online briefing what he called “almost counter-intuitive” and believed that the school “appears to be doing better”. Good” to reach the “infection level”, not the entire community.

“If you really want to restore society to some form of normality, the first thing you need to do is get the children back to school,” Fauci said.

Linda Dahlin Hammond, chair of the California State Board of Education and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, said that many schools have opened face-to-face courses, and even if the coronavirus cases have soared, there have been few outbreaks. More than 1,730 schools received state waivers to reopen classrooms.

She said: “Even in places with high transmission rates, they have to go to school safely.”

Newsom said his advice is driven by more and more evidence, because there is evidence that the risk of teaching in person is particularly low, especially for the youngest students. Parents are under increasing pressure to reopen the campus.

Although California is still plagued by a growing pandemic crisis, he and Darling-Hammond said it is realistic to expect many schools to reopen as early as February or March.

Newsom called for a phased approach, focusing first on children transitioning from kindergarten to second grade, as well as children with disabilities, children with limited technical support at home, and children who have the most difficulty in distance learning.

Other grades will be gradually implemented in the spring, but if parents and students wish, and for those who are at risk of returning to the classroom due to health vulnerabilities, distance learning will continue.

Newsom will recommend an investment of US$2 billion in its budget next week, with an average of US$450 per student, with a maximum weight of US$750 in schools with more disadvantaged groups.

The reaction among members of the state legislature was not partisan. One of Newsom’s harshest critics, Republican Congressman Kevin Keeley, said that the plan was “slightly adjusted in the right direction,” but it brought more to the reopening. Much complexity. The Democratic leaders of Congress and the Senate Education Committee pledged to work with Newsom, and Senator Connie Leyva called his plan “a positive step forward.”

Newsom said he will also work with state legislators to help students get rid of learning losses.

Thurmond said: “It is wrong to say that this is a lost year.” “This is a year in which we preserve and survive.”

Newsom’s proposed safety measures include universal wearing of masks, increased contact tracing during the outbreak, frequent virus testing of all students and staff, and prioritization of vaccinations for educators.

Dr. Naomi Bardach, a pediatrician and school safety expert at the University of California, San Francisco, will lead a team of state health, education, and occupational safety officials to help develop safety plans.


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