State still working on agreement to reopen schools

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — State leaders say they’re confident they’ll be able to reach an agreement with districts and teachers union to reopen schools for in-person learning. 

“We are committed to getting our schools open for in-person instruction,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Newsom and state lawmakers say work continues to safely reopen schools for in-person learning. 

Aiming to stick to his plan, Newsom says the disabled and youngest school children should be back in buildings sooner than older students, proposing to provide billions to support personal protective equipment, testing and contact tracing. 

Some districts, teachers unions and lawmakers have scrutinized the plan, saying the administration isn’t giving districts enough time to plan and apply for the money and other logistical problems. 

“No one in their right mind wants to get COVID-19, so, of course, we have legitimate concerns whether its teachers, parents, what have you on if schools will open safely,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner. “We’re just hammering out the details to do that and I’m confident we’ll get there.”

Educators from districts across the state say they need to be vaccinated before teaching in person. Newsom says they are prioritized for vaccinations in the upcoming Phase 1B. 

“What we believe is exactly what the CDC, Dr. Fauci, the Biden administration believes: that we can safely reopen schools as we process a prioritization to our teachers,” Newsom said. 

The governor also noted there were 87 positive cases in schools in January despite the post-holiday surge. That number is apparently smaller than what the state recorded late last year. 

Where the data came from, where those cases were and if the data will be made public has not been made clear by Newsom’s administration. 

FOX40 reached out to the California Teachers Association for comment but have not heard back. 

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