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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — One of the candidates hoping to take Gov. Gavin Newsom’s job made a stop in Sacramento Wednesday in a push to reopen schools.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is getting involved in the statewide debate over how and when to get students back into classrooms.

“We are in real danger of losing an entire other semester,” he said.

Outside the California Department of Education building, the Republican criticized the state’s lack of progress in opening public school.

“All we continue to hear is rhetoric,” Faulconer said. “All we continue to hear is, ‘We’re going to come up with another plan. We’re still talking about it.’ And yet schools aren’t open, private schools are open.”

For the last couple of months, Newsom and the California Legislature have been in an ongoing debate over how and when to reopen schools. The governor said he’s confident they’ll come to an agreement soon.

“I’m not going to get into any details in the weeds right now,” Newsom said. “I’m not saying we’re at the 1- or 2-yard line, we’re certainly at the red zone in terms of working with the legislature, and so I’ll just leave it at that. We look forward to working together this week to see where we end up.”

The school reopening standstill comes as teachers unions demand safety and access to vaccines. And while school administrators and districts are worried about funds, logistics and testing, others want kids quickly back in the classroom.

Faulconer said he would incentivize reopening with funds, which Newsom has tried to do. 

He also suggested the state provide education stimulus checks for parents who can’t send their kids back to closed classrooms.

“That sometimes have had to not go to work because they have to be with their kids at home or they’ve had to buy school supplies for their kids or they’ve had to hire tutors. That’s costing them money, that’s costing them lost income, that’s costing them wages,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to absolutely consider that if our schools continue not to reopen.”