California lawmakers reach $6.5 billion deal to open schools
After weeks of tense negotiations, California legislators agreed on a $6.5 billion proposal aimed at getting students back in classrooms this spring following months of closures because of the pandemic.
The proposed “Safe and Open Schools” plan would overhaul a $2 billion proposal from Gov. Gavin Newsom that was widely criticized by school superintendents, unions and lawmakers. The proposal unveiled by Newsom in December would have rewarded schools that reopened with additional funding for safety measures.
Critics said it set unrealistic timelines, didn’t include enough money to pay for frequent COVID-19 testing of students and teachers, and failed to address the vaccination of teachers.
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