California became the only state to advance out of the CDC’s “high” transmission category
OAKLAND – On Sept. 15, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a TK-8 school in Oakland to highlight the state’s efforts to safely open schools for full in-person instruction, highlighting new state data showing that the vast majority of school districts are reporting that 95-100 percent of students are in-person. This, in addition to California leading national trends when it comes to keeping schools open and keeping kids out of the hospital.
“We implemented the most robust school reopening and safety strategy in the entire country, and now California’s students are back in the classroom, and schools are remaining open at nation-leading rates,” said Governor Newsom. “It’s no coincidence that California is the first state to advance out of the CDC’s ‘high’ transmission category and has the lowest case rates in the entire country. The state’s efforts and resources have made schools among the safest places in our communities.”
The state’s new Student Supports and In-Person Dashboard provides data collected from school districts regarding how many students are back in classrooms, and the expanded educational opportunities and wellness services available for students – the data shows that the vast majority of districts have 95-100 percent of students in-person, and nearly 98 percent of schools are expanding mental health, after-school and tutoring programs.
Additionally, the new District 2021-22 Instruction Status Map provides a regional breakdown of student in-person rates, expanded educational opportunities and in-school outbreak-associated cases.
CDC data has shown that California is leading national trends for keeping kids out of the hospital: as of Sept. 12, the national rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations for those aged 0-17 was three times the rate of California’s, while Florida’s rate was six times that of California.
Nationally, California is leading national trends in keeping schools open. According to the independent site Burbio that tracks nationwide school closures, roughly 1,900 to 2,000 school closures have occurred this year, with only nine in California – amounting to roughly 0.5 percent of total closures nationwide.
Through the winter, the Governor championed urgent action to provide school funding to both accelerate school reopenings in the 2020-21 school year and expand student supports for the summer and 2021-22 school year. AB 86 was enacted on Mar. 5, with $4.6 billion (of $6.6 billion in total funding) dedicated to expanding student supports. Schools used those early funds to expand educational opportunities for the summer and the upcoming school year. According to the summer data, 89 percent of school districts reporting offered new learning opportunities over the summer, including learning acceleration (e.g., high-dose tutoring), enrichment and mental health services.
Building on this funding, the Governor signed into law a historic $123.9 billion K-12 education package that represents a transformation of our public schools over the next several years.