After nearly a year of distance learning for most K-12 students during the coronavirus pandemic, parents in the nation’s most populated state say they are frustrated and losing hope their children will see the inside of a classroom this year.
The law does not require school districts to resume in-person instruction. Instead, the state is dangling $2 billion before cash-strapped school boards, offering them a share only if they start offering in-person instruction by month’s end. The rest of the money would go toward helping students catch up.
“This is the right time to safely reopen for in-person instruction,” said Newsom, who faces a likely recall election this year, fueled by anger over his handling of the pandemic.
Getting students back into classrooms has been a fraught issue nationwide, pitting politicians against powerful teachers unions. Each state has handled it differently.
In contrast to Newsom’s let-schools-decide approach, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Friday issued an executive order mandating all K-12 public schools offer in-person learning by mid-April.