California Gov. Gavin Newsom strikes school reopening deal with lawmakers

By: | March 2, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers struck a deal Sunday that would push school districts to open classrooms to the youngest students by the end of March while stopping short of new requirements regarding vaccines and collective bargaining.

The deal more closely aligns with what the governor originally proposed in December than what Democratic lawmakers detailed in a bill in February. It does not require schools to open but instead offers financial incentives for those that do, according to sources close to the deal who asked not to be named because it had not yet been made public.

The new proposal would offer $2 billion in grants to schools that open transitional kindergarten through second grade by the end of March and bring back at-risk students in all grades. That includes districts in counties that are still in the state’s purple tier, with infection rates higher than what teachers unions previously said are too unsafe for reopening.

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