NewsCoronavirus

Actions

California superintendent outlines plans for Fall 2020

students_walking_school.jpg
Posted at 4:50 PM, May 13, 2020

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- California may stagger the reopening of schools and require masks for students and staff, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Those are just a few of the suggestions proposed by the State Superintendent as he outlined plans for the upcoming school year. But some local parents are skeptical of the plans.

Distance learning isn't for everyone. For Jeanmarie Arce's son Jeffrey, the lack of interaction has been frustrating.

"He's trying to upload work, and it's taking forever," Arce explained. "It's not going through, and teachers aren't getting it."

Like his classmates, the freshman at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista has been adjusting to this new style of learning since March. But Tony Thurmond, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, says this may become the new normal come fall.

"Some school districts might choose to open in a hybrid model for some in-class instruction and where there is still some distance learning," Thurmond said.

Wednesday morning, Thurmond addressed the future of California schools, beginning with the fiscal strain. Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state is down $54 Billion in revenue because of the pandemic. Of that, K-12 and community colleges will lose $18 Billion in the state's minimum funding guarantee.

"We are anticipating a very difficult budget, a lean budget, that spells out that there are difficult times ahead for us," Thurmond said.

"It seems like every time money is being taken away from some kind of entity, it's always from the education, and that hurts the students," Arce said.

The Superintendent also says that fall start dates are set, not by the state, but by individual districts. Masks may be required for all students and staff before entering campuses. Some districts are even planning for school in shifts: a morning session and an afternoon session.

"That may be a way to accommodate the need to have so much smaller class sizes so that school campuses can reopen with social distancing provisions," Thurmond explained.

Arce says no way would that work for her family.

"To try and get my son off to school while I am at work is going to be absolutely crazy for us," Arce sighed.

To bridge the learning gap caused by the pandemic, some districts may offer summer programs. Whatever happens, Arce hopes for a more interactive solution so kids like her son can feel like students again.

"He's frustrated with it," Arce said. "He's over it. He's ready to go back to school."

The Superintendent adds that despite budget cuts, his mission is to provide better technology and internet access to their 6.2 million students. To donate, send an email to donatetech@cde.gov.