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California GOP Leader Criticizes Governor’s School Reopening Plan

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Sacramento, CA — The head of the California Senate Republican caucus argues that Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to bring more students back to school campuses falls short.

We reported earlier that the Governor and Democratic lawmakers agreed to a tentative package that would pay extra funding to districts that reopen by March 31st (a combined $6.6-billion). The idea is to provide incentives for schools to do at least some type of in-person learning. Most of the rural school districts in the Mother Lode have been providing in-person learning for several months, but the urban districts have mostly stayed with distance learning.

Senate GOP Leader Scott Wilk is disappointed that the proposal only incentivizes reopening. He says, “We should be doing all we can to get kids back in the classroom, but make no mistake, unless reopening is required, most California students will finish out the school year in their living rooms glued to a computer screen.”

Wilk says Republicans offered a series of amendments to the plan, such as speeding up the timeline by 15 days, and requiring a minimum of three days of instruction to be considered “open,” but he says the proposals were all denied.

Mother Lode Republican Assemblyman Frank Bigelow also agrees that it should be directive instead of incentive, noting, “The Governor has ruled over California with an iron fist for nearly a year; what’s stopping him now?”

Adding, “Schools are ready to open, teachers are eager to teach, and students are desperate to get back in the classroom.”