On Wednesday, Dec. 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a $2 billion plan and a new tiered framework of modifications that will be implemented to reopen schools for in-person education. The new tiered framework is projected to be put into action by February 2021.
“It’s a fundamental fact that learning remains non-negotiable, but obvious neither is safety,” Newsom said during an address to the media on Dec. 30. “So, safety and mitigation measures, clearly, we believe can prevent transmissions in the school setting. Transmissions among and from younger students — students to students — is simply not common.”
In his address, Newsom explained that this new tiered framework to reopen in-person education is part of a $2 billion push to support schools, with proper safety and mitigation protocol in place.
“We’re going to work together through a legislative process because we’re proposing an early action legislative plan to provide an additional $2 billion of support to the schools,” Newsom said. “We want to continue to leverage … those funds to support a safe reopening of in-person instruction in the schools.”
Newsom explained that this “phased in-person learning” will begin with younger students, specifically K-6, along with special education. Newsom added that the state was targeting early spring 2021 as the projected return for in-person education for all communities.
“Extensive evidence is now in that shows safety and mitigation measures that are put into place when schools are opening in person and they are focused on mask wearing, focused on physical distancing, are considerate across the spectrum … issues associated with those layers of protection. When they’re put into place we now know that transmission can and will be reduced,” Newsom said.
California’s new tiered framework to reopen in-person education includes similarities to the color-coded framework used to monitor COVID-19 transmission across within the state, and uses the same four-color combination: Purple, Red, Orange and Yellow that will now be used to implement COVID-19 testing regimens within the education community.
Locally, the Los Angeles Unified School District has operated with a mixture of hybrid education formats that utilize both online and in-person education, since March.