January 15, 2021

This week, two people involved in the debate over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to provide $2 billion in incentives to school districts that agree to bring back elementary school students in February and March offer different perspectives.

Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson, who joined six other large urban superintendents in criticizing the strategy, said the timeline is too compressed to reach a deal with teachers who have agreed to reopen when Covid infection rates are lower than Newsom proposes and the plan doesn’t consider the worries of parents in urban areas with high infection rates.

Dr. Jeanne Noble, a physician who directs the Covid response for the UCSF Emergency Department, says that data from schools open in Marin County and in North Carolina show schools can be operated safely for all students and kept safe for adults by ensuring that students wear masks, keep socially distant and, along with staff, are tested regularly for the coronavirus. 

For background on these issues, check out the following: