Our schools stand ready to resume in-person instruction as soon as health conditions are safe and appropriate. But we cannot do it alone. The past 10 months have been a well-documented struggle for millions of California schoolchildren and their families. “Safe Schools for All” is a start toward recovery, but we call on the state to acknowledge the following needs and take the actions necessary to implement them so all California children can receive the education they deserve:
— Immediate, all-hands-on-deck, public health effort to reduce the spread of the virus in low income communities.
— A clear, state standard for COVID-related health issues in schools with a requirement for in-classroom instruction to begin when the standard is met.]
— Public health funds, not K-12 educational funds from Prop. 98, should be used for COVID testing and vaccinations.
— School-based health services should be integrated with COVID testing and vaccination plans.
— Learning loss recovery plans, including funding for summer school, need to be established now.
— Reopening plan needs to include specific funding for special education students.
— A timetable and plan for vaccinations of school staff should be made public by February 1.
— The state should begin to publish detailed information on school and district status in meeting COVID health standards, providing in-person instruction and school-based virus occurrences by February 1.