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99% of California’s Public Schools Plan to Fully Reopen In-Person This Fall, State Says

According to data released by the state Monday, 99% of the California public school districts which provide data to the state say they will fully reopen for in-person instruction this fall. The state also rolled out a series of interactive tools on its safe schools web portal Monday which allow parents and educators to track school reopenings, summer instruction and COVID-19 resources for both public school districts and charter schools in real time.

Meanwhile California is following through with its pledge to pump $4.6 billion into summer school across the state in an effort to help students who fell behind during distance learning.

The Oakland Unified School District is expecting about $277 million in state and federal COVID relief money over the next three years, according to a district spokesperson. But the cash isn’t translating into an expansion of summer school this year.

And not all OUSD parents who want to have been able to enroll kids in summer school, with spots being reserved for only those students who need it most. One Oakland parent, Susana Torres, said she tried to enroll her nephew in fifth-grade summer school, but was told his grades at Manzanita SEED Dual Language Immersion Elementary School were too good.

Despite the vast majority of schools announcing plans to fully return to in-person instruction this fall, many California parents living in areas hardest hit by the pandemic – which have proven to be disproportionately African-American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities – have remained hesitant to send their kids back inside schools full-time. The state said on Monday it will spend $1 million on a campaign to reach those parents and convince them it’s safe.

KQED’s Vanessa Rancano contributed to this story.

Julia McEvoy

Copyright 2021 KQED