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San Diego Unified School District works to solidify reopening plan

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Posted at 12:05 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 15:05:58-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- As school districts across San Diego County work to piece together how the next school year will look like and how they’ll pay for it, others are joining forces to try and get more resources.

Two of the largest school districts in California, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, announced they plan to pool their purchasing power to secure PPE and other equipment that’s needed to safely reopen.

They join the other districts in the struggle to find out how to fund all the changes they’ll have to make to keep up with the state’s guidelines in dealing with COVID-19.

Last week, the state’s superintendent of schools released a handbook that looks at the options of possibly splitting up students based on grade level, having them report to school on two designated days, and doing distance learning on the other days. They’re also looking to stagger start and dismissal times.

While some parents believe having students return to school is easier than virtual learning, San Diego Education Association President Kisha Borden said, “I also think it will create a need for more teachers, we may have to utilize more of our visiting teachers.”

The state superintendent is also recommending face coverings before entering campus. They will not need to wear it while eating.

In a statement, LA Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner and SD Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten said:

“Schools across the state are working around the clock to plan for reopening because students must have the chance to continue their education. Unfortunately, last week the state published 55 pages of new guidelines on districts with no funding attached. Unless the funding needs are addressed comprehensively in the state budget, there is no way schools will be able to follow all the new recommended guidelines required for a safe, responsible reopening in the fall. It is inappropriate to pronounce public guidelines as recommended best practices and then leave districts without the necessary funding to implement them. Schools must be able to reassure parents, students and staff that their wellbeing is being addressed and these guidelines will now be viewed as a minimum threshold.”

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, lawmakers just approved a state spending plan that rejects Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed cuts to public education, as the state faces an estimated $54 billion budget deficit because of the coronavirus.

Even though the budget plan has been voted on, this could still change, as the governor has the power to veto, sign, or make changes to what’s been given to him by the legislature.