San Diego Unified expected to update reopening timeline as state leaders weigh options

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SAN DIEGO – San Diego Unified School District officials are expected to update the district’s reopening timeline during a board meeting Tuesday after recent changes from the state geared toward returning students to the classroom.

Students and parents have been rallying for months for schools to reopen for in-person instruction. This month, district leaders and area teachers laid out a framework for students to return to its campuses with a commitment to be back by the fall, or potentially earlier depending on “the pace of the vaccine rollout and case-rates reductions.”

The district’s board told FOX 5 last week that it was realistic to have schools reopen by mid-April, but they’re also anticipating a challenge in convincing parents it’s safe for students to attend classes in-person.

On Monday, state lawmakers postponed voting on the legislature’s proposed $6.5 billion school reopening plan after dozens of school districts and administrative boards across California shared concerns in a letter about the plan.

“I thought the letter was tone deaf; it showed a complete lack of understanding of where parents and students are,” Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said.

As is, the plan would require schools to reopen by April 15 in order to access funds to help with reopening. It also requires local health departments move teachers and staff to the front of the vaccine line as they return to in-person learning.

Gov. Gavin Newsom opposes the plan as it is now, saying it slows the school reopening timeline.

Lawmakers hope to come to an agreement in the near future.

“Hopefully we can do that in the very short term and get a plan together to get our schools open in a safe manner,” said Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach.

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