Senate Examines Governor’s Safe Schools for All Plan

The Senate Education Committee and the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education convened a joint informational hearing on Thursday to examine the Newsom Administration’s Safe Schools for All Plan to safely reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate hearing featured a panel of state representatives from the Department of Finance (DOF), State Board of Education, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). Each of the representatives discussed the Newsom Administration’s education actions, including investments provided through the 2020-21 Budget Act. The representatives further discussed previous guidance and school reopening efforts by the state, as well as updated guidance and proposed investments issued by the Newsom Administration.

The hearing’s second panel consisted of local education officials to provide an overview of the on-the-ground experience of school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The third panel featured association representatives of school employees and teachers.

Senators had the opportunity to raise questions of panelists, which largely focused on testing and contact tracing activities, the availability of state technical assistance to local educational agencies, learning loss mitigation efforts, public health guidance, COVID-19 vaccines, reporting, and engagement with organized labor unions regarding school reopening plans.

The hearing agenda and background paper is available here. A video recording is available here.