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San Diego Unified School District outlines plan for national education recovery

Posted at 6:11 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 09:11:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) is urging school districts across the state to roll back in-person classes and return to distance learning.

CFT President Jeff Freitas said with most of the state back in the purple tier of restrictions, it only makes sense to go back to virtual learning until there is a slow in the spread of COVID-19.

“We need to get these numbers down," said Freitas. “We think the best thing right now is for schools to stop their plans of reopening and, or if they are reopened, to close their schools and go back to remote.”

Three Vista Unified School District schools -- Rancho Buena Vista High, Vista Magnet Middle, and Madison Middle -- returned to virtual learning Tuesday after positive COVID-19 cases were reported. It’s a back-and-forth the district has been dealing with since reopening for in-person instruction last month.

“There should be more of a statewide approach and definitely a national approach,” said Freitas. “We have been asking that they take the lead on this.”

San Diego Unified School District thinks it has come up with an answer. During its State of the District address Tuesday evening, Superintendent Cindy Marten said the district created a federal relief plan to get all schools nationwide back on track for the next two years.

The plan asks for federal investment in education that would be centered around equity and undoing learning loss.

“What would the San Diego strategy look like at the national level? We have outlined that plan, shared it with the Biden administration,” said Marten.

The plan includes a COVID-19 testing, tracking, and tracing strategy for students and staff, and $350 billion in direct relief to schools. Marten said the money would offset the lost state revenue and increased operating costs.

“We call for full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and full funding for the Impact Aid program to invest in military families,” added Marten. “We call for tripling Title I funding and making the fund permanent to support low-income families.”

“I know that San Diegans will step up and do whatever it takes to make sure no student is left behind,” Mayor-elect Todd Gloria said during a special appearance at the address.

SDUSD’s plan has been sent to the Biden transition team for consideration. The full plan is available here.