Gov. Newsom, unions clash over school reopening plan as deadline arrives

An effort to reopen schools in California is floundering, stoking the frustration of parents and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

As the one-year anniversary of distance learning approaches, parents are grappling more than ever with the toll of isolation and intense screen time on their kids' academic and emotional well-being.

A $2 billion plan by Newsom to reopen schools by mid-February has not been well received.

The proposal, which was introduced last December, would give California schools up to $750 per student to reopen later this month. The plan was meant to encourage students and staff to get back to in-person learning, and Monday is the deadline for school districts to apply.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom says schools may not reopen if COVID-19 vaccination for all teachers, staff required
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Gov. Gavin Newsom says if vaccines for all teachers and staff are a condition for reopening schools then schools might not reopen at all this academic year.

However, there has been significant much pushback by lawmakers and the California teachers association, that the proposal was never officially approved.

There's no timeline on when schools would receive the funding and no plan for vaccinations.

Newsom said last week if vaccines for all teachers and staff are a condition for reopening schools, then campuses might not welcome students back to the classroom at all this academic year.

According to Politico, the governor said last Thursday, "If everybody has to be vaccinated, we might as well just tell people the truth, there will be no in-person instruction in the state of California."

The governor wants students in transitional kindergarten through second grade to return to campus in a couple weeks, and some schools are on schedule to go back then.

However, the Legislature shows no sign of fast-tracking the proposal's approval.

The state's powerful teachers unions and biggest school districts say it is unworkable, raising questions about whether K-12 schools will open at all this academic year.

The city of Long Beach, which has its own health department, and Riverside County have begun vaccinating teachers.

But Los Angeles County has not, and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner is opposed to reopening campuses until teachers are vaccinated.

Beutner on Monday is expected to outline the path to reopening L.A. schools.

Meantime, LAUSD is preparing to reach a major milestone Monday, with the district expected to provide its 100 millionth meal.

Since schools shut down last March, the district has distributed weekly meals to students and their families at grab-and-go sites.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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