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Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo: screen capture governor's video press conference)

Gov. Newsom, Legislature Reach $6.6 Billion Deal To Reopen Schools

‘You can’t reopen your economy unless you get your schools reopened’

By Evan Symon, March 1, 2021 2:44 pm

On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom reached an agreement with state legislators over reopening schools on Monday, leading the way for public schools across California to get up to $6.6 billion by the end of the month.

Under the agreed upon plan, $2 billion in grants would go reopening grades K-2 by the end of March, with at-risk students such as the disabled, homeless, English learners, foster children, students without access to Wi-Fi or computers, and those at risk of abuse, coming back from all grades. This would happen to schools regardless of reopening tier, with even purple level counties, those with the highest infection and death rates being covered.

Counties in red tiers would have even more reopened, with schools eligible for the state grant funding having to reopen all elementary grades, as well as at least one middle school grade and one high school grade.

Schools that don’t reopen for in-person classes by April 1st will end up losing 1% of their part of the funds each day they don’t comply. However, schools will also get more funding if they have primarily low-income students, with the state even giving $1,000 in funding for each homeless student a school has.

The other $4.6 billion in funding won’t be contingent on schools coming back by the end of the month, but would go to schools returning to in-class instruction in general.

Vaccinations would not be required for teachers or students returning to the classroom, nor would teacher union approval be needed. In addition, testing would be needed for all schools in the purple tier, those districts who reopen by the end of March would be exempt from any and all testing.

“You can’t reopen your economy unless you get your schools reopened,” said Governor Gavin Newsom during a press conference on Monday announcing the reopening plan. “We expect that all of our TK-2 classrooms reopen in the next 30 days. We’re not waiting to get out of this purple tier to get our kids safely back into in-person instruction.”

A compromise deal between Newsom, California legislature

The deal is largely a compromise of two prior plans, including the Governor’s controversial $2 billion reopening plan that would have only given money to schools that reopened by a certain time and not others, and the state legislature’s Senate Bill 86 plan, which would give $6.5 billion but not set a deadline for schools to reopen to receive funding.

“Basically schools get more money if they reopen by the end of the month, but if they don’t, they’ll still get funding,” explained “Sarah,” a former lobbyist for a teacher’s union in California. “They’re doing the Newsom thing by giving the $ 2 billion and taking away money each day they won’t reopen, and then they do the legislative thing and still make sure everyone still gets funding so all schools can reopen safely. The message is clear though. They’re saying to reopen soon, as quickly as possible. Without union input.”

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner (Photo: Wikipedia)

While the deal does not require vaccinations, many districts, such as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), have made them mandatory for classes to return. In response, Governor Newsom said that 10% of all vaccines would be going towards educators as outlined in a separate plan on Sunday, a large part of why it was not included in Sunday’s deal.

“The Governor has dedicated access for 25,000 additional vaccine doses for school staff in Los Angeles Unified over the next two weeks, ” said LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner on Monday. “This plan will allow us to complete during the next two weeks vaccinations for school staff who are already working at school sites, staff who are working with our youngest learners and those working with students with learning differences and disabilities.”

The deal, which is set to bring back full in-class instruction for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020, was also confirmed by the offices of  Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) on Monday. School districts across the state are expected to announce new reopening schedules soon in response to the announcement.

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13 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom, Legislature Reach $6.6 Billion Deal To Reopen Schools

  1. ‘“You can’t reopen your economy unless you get your schools reopened,” said Governor Gavin Newsom’
    Did he actually say that? That makes him sound like a reasonable person with some shred of common sense, which he’s proven himself over the past year not to be.

    It also makes it sound like re-opening the economy is something that he actually considers valuable. Again, as a year’s worth of his deliberate destruction of said economy would testify, that is not in his character either.

    This is really scary. I mean, I’m glad that this is finally happening, but a leopard can’t change its spots, and this guy has been wantonly destroying the quality of life for almost everyone for an entire year. Then, all of a sudden he comes out and says, “Come on, people! Let’s get everything back to normal!”
    Ummmm…. Is anyone else as freaked out about this as I am?

    The greatest triumph in all of this is the “without union input.” It’s unconscionable how a group of people supposedly bound by law to protect the safety and well-being of children have getting paid to literally destroy it for the past year.

    1. Sounds like another politician game or a theatrical production to me. A confusing one, as usual. In addition to RecallGavin pressure, Newsom is getting hot sizzling heat from parents to reopen schools so he must say and/or do SOMETHING. Meanwhile he is well aware that the teachers unions are likely going to vote to NOT reopen. Also meanwhile it looks like the teachers’ unions have managed to extort billions from the state, money they don’t actually need to reopen. And they will get the money whether or not they reopen. And I’m betting they will not. Reopen, that is. At least if LAUSD is any example. They have a list of unnecessary demands. So Gavin “Don’t Blame Me” Newsom has put the ball in the teachers union’s court and at the same time funneled cash to them to placate them so they don’t turn against him.

      And what exactly are the districts and unions after? Do they want even more money? More benefits? Are the majority of teachers simply unwilling to return? Why? Because everyone is not yet vaccinated? Well, with rare exceptions, children are not at risk, nor are they COVID spreaders. We’ve known this since last spring. So vaccinations across the board (one of their demands) are simply not necessary. Schools should have fully reopened long ago; the reasons for not opening are mythical, not true, ridiculous. If Newsom really meant business, he would give the unions a bribeless ultimatum, but he doesn’t want to do that because he NEEDS the unions if he faces a recall.
      Any teachers willing to weigh in and tell us what you think is going on here?

  2. This is ridiculous.
    Newsom and his perfectly gelled and highlighted hair [when hair stylists were prohibited from working by the way] stood there on television and shamed everyone saying we were all in this together – that it was selfish not to follow his restrictions – that it was not punishment to comply. Businesses went broke. People were ruined. But now he just turns around and says OK lets just get everything going again. No vaccine required. This just proves that his covid restrictions were arbitrary and unscientific and he and his witch doctor Ghaley were just making it up as they went along. All to our detriment.
    He can’t be recalled soon enough. Can’t wait to see how he reacts when the people of California throw him out on his ear.

  3. Here we go…

    $6.6 BILLION OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS for a backroom deal with the CA teacher’s unions, to repair the economic damage caused by the “Dump Trump” economic sh#t storm stirred up by the ChiCom government and their Democrat Party stories that are doing their bidding…


  4. Call me stupid but why do we have to pay BILLIONS to go back to school? For plexiglass and masks? Back in the day teachers loved to teach, it wasn’t political? I am in a fog……..

    1. You’re exactly right, Stacy. They DON’T need billions to do that. This whole thing is absurd.

  5. a deal with the school boards and the teacher’s credit union leadership, not necessarily teachers, and an attempt to save his job, newsom trying to get people to forget what a tyrant he has been.

  6. Our “brave” governor is a wimp…….too cowardly to take on the teachers union and tell them when to open the schools or they’re fired. So much easier for him to avoid confrontation and just spend billions of our taxpayer dollars unnecessarily to open the schools……..when have we the taxpayers ever spent billions to open the schools?

    1. Yes ma’am. And by the way that’s OUR money, OUR $6.66 BILLION dollars he is using to bribe the teachers unions in hopes of saving his own hide. Not ours, not CA’s children, not CA’s teachers. HIS hide. Gavin’s hide. The guy who is supposed to be working for Californians. What a joke
      It’s outrageous and completely unacceptable. As you know.

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