April 28, 2020
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to Governor's Remarks for Potential Earlier School Year
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement today in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s remarks that public schools might start the next school year earlier:
“We all heard for the first time today the idea of schools reopening as early as July or August. If possible, this could help us address equity issues facing our most vulnerable students while providing an opportunity to start recovering the learning loss we know students have experienced between the time we closed campuses and shifted to distance learning.
“We also recognize the importance of schools reopening to help parents and caregivers in their much-needed return to work.
“If this is going to work, there are some major questions we will have to answer. First and foremost: Can this be done in a way that protects the health and safety of our students, teachers, and school staff?
“We also must consider the fiscal implications. Social distancing in schools may require smaller class sizes, but schools are going to need additional resources to make it happen—including the possibility of hiring more teachers. Additionally, teachers and school staff will need personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies so that our schools are sanitized. We expect that some form of social distancing will be with us through the summer, so if we start school early, we need resources to make it a reality.
“Clearly, for now, we still have more questions than answers. But now is the time for us to problem-solve and plan for the future. My team will be in regular communication with our partners in the Governor’s Office, the State Board of Education, the Legislature, the Department of Finance, public health leaders, employee group leadership, and superintendents and educational leaders from all across the state and nation.
“Together, we will create a path forward that works for all students.”
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100