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School Officials React to Governor's Plan to Safely Reopen Schools

The Governor's plan promises funding and support. But local education leader Richard Barrera said "More work needs to be done."

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The Governor's plan acknowledges what leaders of urban school districts wrote in a letter last month explaining to the Governor what they would need to reopen schools safely. That is according to San Diego Unified School District Board Vice President Richard Barrera who said, “Details need to be worked out. “

Newsom called for a phased approach focusing first on those in transitional kindergarten through second grade, as well as children with disabilities, those who have limited access to technology at home, and those who he said: "have struggled more than most with distance learning.” 

The Governor’s plan also promises funding and support to make sure schools have what they need to reopen safely. That includes money for testing and giving priority to teachers and school staff when it comes to getting the vaccine.

The state will also have a website where parents and students can see their school’s reopening status, state funding, and any school outbreaks. It will also have a way for educators and parents to report any problems or concerns, which he said will allow the state to impose what his office called “escalating levels of intervention beginning with technical assistance and ending with legal enforcement.”

Governor Newsom unveils new plan to reopen schools. NBC 7's Rory Devine has more details.

“Those are two big steps that will allow us to get our children back to school in person, even as the case rates continue to go through the roller coaster that we've seen since March,” said Barrera.

But Barrera said there needs to be a timeline for vaccinating educators, and there must be enough funding to cover the costs of testing in districts with high caseloads.

Meanwhile, president of the teacher’s union Kisha Borden sent an email to NBC 7 that reads in part:

"We hope today's statement from the Governor does not give false hope that San Diego Unified is about to reopen, as even under his plan, San Diego County's case rates would preclude re-opening."

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