Students and parents may believe they are a step closer to returning to in-person instruction with the passage of the Governor’s reopening plan (Assembly Bill 86), but they are not. Nothing in the bill actually requires schools to reopen, but it merely incentivizes them to do so.
“With the same stroke of his pen that closed the schools a year ago, the governor could have reopened them months ago. He did not,” said Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “I support providing incentives for reopening schools. 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.”
Senate Republicans also offered solutions that would have strengthened the governor’s incentive plan by actually requiring school districts to meet specific in-person criteria to be considered re-opened. Senate Democrats rejected these Republicans’ amendments.
Republicans offered the following amendments:
- To reopen schools within 15 days with a 5 day-a-week option.
- To require a minimum of 3 days in-person instruction a week to be considered “reopened” – right now even a hybrid with one day a week would count as reopened.
AB 86 will offer $2 billion incentive grants for schools to reopen and allocate $4.6 billion for supplemental instructions and for in-person instructions for a total of $6.6 billion.