California Black Media
Gov. Newsom’s $6.6 billion bill aims to provide adequate academic, mental health, and social-emotional support for students across California. The proposed education budget includes $2 billion for in-person instruction and safety measures such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades, and COVID-19 testing. The remaining $4.6 billion is set to fund expanded learning opportunities such as summer school and academic tutoring.
Legislative leaders at Franklin Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District near Sacramento are taking the lead, working closely with the governor to reopen grades K-6 in Mid-March and grades 7-12 in early April.
Gov. Newsom said his plans are based on “reimagining the school year,” in addition to building confidence and trust for caregivers, educators, and parents who are hesitant about reopening schools.
“We incentivize opening up our schools, by providing real resources to do it,” Gov. Newsom said.
The federal government also approved Medicaid funding to expand coronavirus testing for low-income students nationwide. The California Department of Health Care Services has requested permission to provide testing in K-12 schools through Medi-Cal, the state’s primary health care system. Medi-Cal provides coverage for more than half of California’s population under age 20.
Gov. Newsom said the federal government’s approval to expand testing in efforts to boost health equity helps, “ensure schools can reopen safely in underserved neighborhoods that are bearing the brunt of pandemic hardships.”