UPDATED 2:15 PM PT – Monday, March 1, 2021
State leaders in California unveiled a $6.6 billion deal to get some students back in the classroom sooner rather than later. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) and state lawmakers announced the plan on Monday.
Under the deal, the state will provide $2 billion to school districts as incentives to reopen its kindergarten through second grade classes by the end of March.
The new plan also looks to dole out $4.6 billion to schools. These funds could be used to extend the school year, hire tutors or counselors and offer services to make up for academic losses due to distance learning.
Today’s school agreement provides solutions to reopen schools safely, get kids back in classrooms, and prioritize vaccines for teachers. Schools are vital to our communities and families – this is a major step forward toward reopening their doors. https://t.co/VA8Mlzi3Px pic.twitter.com/od7nruQpHa
— Senator Toni Atkins (@SenToniAtkins) March 1, 2021
Newsom said California will be setting aside a percentage of its COVID-19 vaccines for educators.
“Today marks more broadly a commitment for the state of California across the spectrum in all 58 counties to provide at least 10 percent, a minimum of 75,000 doses we are setting aside for our educators, for our school employees broadly,” Newsom stated. “All up and down the state of California.”
The deal does not mandate schools to reopen. However, schools that have not reopened by April 1 will lose a portion of the $2 billion each day classes remain closed.