San Francisco is set to return to school after a long pause since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but only for one day, leaving many parents criticizing educational establishments.
Last weekend, the teachers union announced that the Class of 2021 will be able to go back to school on Friday. However, they did not publicly announce that the guideline called seniors to go back to school for at least one day before the school year ends. Additionally, there will be no in-person classes conducted and only two high schools will reopen.
Many residents expressed their claims that the reopening was only made to receive funding from the state and was not in the best interest of the students. The teachers union announced the reopening only one day away from May 15, the deadline for schools to qualify for the state’s $2 billion reopening fund program.
The author of the legislation, Assemblyman Phil Ting, called the incident disappointing. “It definitely doesn’t meet the spirit of the law. Kids were supposed to come back in person. Kids were supposed to come back to learn,” he said.
The district and the teachers union agreed to not providing in-person classes, instead, they will conduct in-person supervision. In this process, students will be given activities while teachers guide them with things such as “end of high school conversations” and college and career exploration.”
The San Francisco Unified School District is one of the largest school systems in the United States that planned to bring students back to school. Officials kept going back and forth with their efforts in reopening educational establishments.
About 22,000 of the district’s 52,000 students were brought back into classrooms in elementary schools and preschools. Middle and high school students, on the other hand, continued with online learning guidelines. However, 2,000 upper-grade students in at-risk populations, including special day classes, foster care, and those who are homeless, returned on April 26.
School districts were eligible to receive funding under Ting’s legislation if they chose to reopen and bring elementary students back and at least one full middle or high school grade by April 21. For each day schools remain close, they lose 1% of the funding they would have received. The deadline to receive any sort of funding was by May 15, the Associated Press reported.
“Does this show them that they matter, or just that the money matters? One senior told us she wants to return, but not like this. Her reaction: ‘It’s too little too late. School’s over,’” Decreasing the Distance, a school reopening advocacy group, said.