- California schools are anticipated to stay closed for the remainder of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom said, according to a Politico report.
- Almost 99% of California schools are currently closed, but the announcement sets expectations for students, parents, and educators to be prepared to settle into a virtual-learning routine.
- Kansas was the first state to call off classes for the rest of the year, but other states like California might start to follow suit.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom told residents that schools are unlikely to re-open before the end of the school due to intensifying efforts to combat coronavirus, Politico reported Tuesday.
“I don’t think the schools are going to open again,” Newsom said.
Kansas was the first state to cancel classes for the remainder of the school year and California may well be next.
Newsom has not yet required California school systems to shut down because of the burden such a mandate could impose on low-income families, Politico reported. However, nearly 99% of schools are already closed in response to the COVID-19, which sent California into a state of emergency since March 4.
Newsom signed an executive order ensuring schools would still receive their funding if they did decide to close, and advised districts to use funds to help transition students into the digital learning setting, as well as support families that rely on school assistance for services like meals, Politico said.
Newsom also filed a request with the federal government to halt standardised testing requirements for the time being.
Schools and families are working together to continue education in a virtual setting, but adjusting to a completely new way of life is not easy for students, parents, teachers, and administrators in what would be the longest stint of school closures in California.
As the situation with COVID-19 progresses, the governor sees the probability of schools remaining closed until summer break to be an increasingly likely reality.
“This is a very sobering thing to say,” Newsom said about his comment that schools would probably remain closed. “I don’t want to mislead you.”
Newsom explained that he told his own daughter, “Honey, I don’t think the schools are going to open again,” and that he had to be just as honest with Californians.
The announcement comes just a day after the San Francisco Bay Area was ordered to ‘shelter in place’ until April 7 in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
So far, California reported 455 active cases Wednesday.
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