California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing backlash after he revealed last week that his children have returned to in-person learning at their private school in Sacramento County, while many public schools in the state remain closed under public health restrictions.
“They’re phasing back into school, and we are phasing out of our very challenging distance learning that we’ve been doing, so many parents are doing up and down the state,” the Democratic governor said, adding that he believes children learn best in the classroom and his administration will provide resources school districts need for their safe reopening.
“We absolutely believe that the social-emotional learning that occurs in the classroom is the best place for our kids, certainly the best place for their parents as well,” Newsom said. “It is absolutely incumbent to do everything in our power to provide support to our districts so that they can safely reopen—emphasis on safely reopen.”
Newsom’s remarks were met with criticism over the weekend, with many pointing out that not all Californian parents have the same opportunity to send their children back to classrooms. In Sacramento County, where Newsom’s family resides, only some schools have opened. San Juan Unified, the county’s second largest public school district, said it won’t reopen for its over 50,000 students until January 2021. Sacramento City Unified, which serves about 49,000 students, has yet to come up with a reopening plan.