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Governor Gavin Newsom Strikes New School Reopening Deal With California Lawmakers




A child attends an online class at a learning hub inside the Crenshaw Family YMCA during the Covid-19 pandemic on February 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
A child attends an online class at a learning hub inside the Crenshaw Family YMCA during the Covid-19 pandemic on February 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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California Governor Gavin Newsom struck a deal yesterday with state lawmakers to push districts to reopen for some elementary-aged children by the end of March.

The bill does not require schools to reopen, but financially incentivize them to do so. The proposal offers $2 billion in grant money to schools that open transitional kindergarten through second grade and all at-risk students of all grades.

This would include districts still in the state’s purple tier, which teacher’s unions previously argued are too unsafe for reopening. Once school districts move into the red tier (daily case rates below 7 per 100,000 residents), the plan provides grant funding to schools that open for all elementary-aged children and at least one year of middle or high school. An official in Governor Newsom’s office shared today that it will get enough COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the week to inoculate all staff in its elementary schools. That lines up closely with the district’s target date of April 9 to reopen campuses, but it will be a tight turnaround to get all staff to maximum immunity (which takes around five to six weeks to achieve after the first dose). 

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about California school reopenings and what Gov. Newsom’s plan could mean for schools in Los Angeles County. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

We reached out to LAUSD. They did not have someone available to join us for the segment. 

With guest host Libby Denkmann

Guests:

Ricardo Cano, reporter covering education for CalMatters; he tweets @ByRicardoCano

Kyle Stokes, KPCC/LAist education reporter covering K-12 and the Los Angeles Unified School District; he tweets @kystokes

Ashley Bettas-Alcalá, president of the San Bernardino Teachers Association

Tammy Scorcia, president of the Alhambra Teachers Association