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Blueprint to reopen California schools is underway

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – California’s top educator says that long-awaited guidance on how to reopen schools could come in a matter of days.

On Thursday, educators from across the state weighed in on what they believe the process should look like.

A blueprint to reopen California schools is underway.

“We expect to release something in days, days to weeks to come,” California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said.

For weeks, members of the state’s reopening school’s task force has been working on ideas that could be implemented.

For the first time Thursday, we learned of some of their ideas.

“All elementary school students needs to be back at school,” California State Deputy Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Gregson said.

Some worry more distance learning, could put some students even further behind the pack.

Others want nurses and counselors in every school across the state.

“The pandemic is still in our communities and we need to stop it from spreading,” San Diego Unified Schools Superintendent Cindy Marten said.

Others want the state to provide more information on to plan for bus rides, sporting events, class sizes, and common spaces.

State health officials say they will work to offer guidance, not rules. They’re encouraging districts to develop their own plans.

They say the use of masks and personal protective equipment will likely be required for students and staff.

But school leaders are wondering how to implement the millions of dollars in protection, while budgets are being cut.

“This is not politics, this is math,” Marten said. “We cannot absorb a 10 percent cut in LCF funding at the same time when we’re trying to more to reopen safely.”

Some superintendents want money from the state’s rainy day fund given directly to the districts to help offset the cuts.

Without help, others worry a number of teachers could be left out of the plans.  

Others worry that with new methods of learning, teachers could also sacrificed.

“We need some really creative thinking that’s going to have to occur in order to make this happen.”

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