SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California lawmakers have approved a plan to push public schools to reopen with in-person classes before the end of the school year.
The $6.6 billion deal does not order districts to get students back on campus, but it does give them financial incentive.
Schools that open later than April 1 will get less cash grants, and districts that don’t open by May 15 would lose all of the incentivized funding.
Watch Gov. Newsom sign the bill below:
It focuses mostly on students in TK through second grade, and then ramps up to include older students based on the case rates in counties.
“This package of funding and supports for our schools recognizes that in-person education is essential to meet not only the learning needs, but the mental health and social-emotional needs of our kids – especially the youngest and the most vulnerable,” said Governor Newsom. “The state is committed to creating safe learning environments for students and safe workplaces for educators as we build on months of progress to accelerate the pace of school reopenings across California.”
Critics say the plan doesn’t do enough to get students back on campus, with no minimum requirement for hours per week in class.
Newsom has been critcitized for not creating a school reopening plan sooner.
But this has been an extremely hard plan to pass because the polarization. Parents want their kids back in school, but the teacher’s union doesn’t want teachers in classrooms without being vaccinated.
The state has set aside 10% of vaccines for educators.
Newsom signed the bill into law on Friday morning.