Gov. Gavin Newsom’s tour de California may be focused on the long-range issues in confronting the coronavirus pandemic, but another – more immediate – crisis is raging all around.
The reopening of public schools.
Newsom finds himself in a standoff with the California State Legislature, which is currently navigating its own plan to reopen schools, and allied teachers unions resistant to reopening classrooms without vaccines for all teachers.
Thursday, in response to the Legislative reopening plan, Newsom issued a tepid response: “While the Legislature’s proposal represents a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough or fast enough.”
A top challenger to Newsom – either via recall or in 2022 – says the shoe is on the other foot.
Speaking to The Sun, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer pointed the blame squarely on Newsom, saying his “dithering” has resulted in a leadership vacuum to get students back into classrooms.
“Parents across the state are at their wit’s end because the Governor has not opened our public schools,” Faulconer said.
Faulconer, the father of two public school kids himself, is one of them. In announcing his candidacy, the former San Diego Mayor stood in front of a closed, Los Angeles County public school.
Across the street? A private school operating with students learning in-person.
“That school reports to the parents,” he said. “But the public school was closed because it answers to Gavin Newsom. That’s why you’re seeing the anger and frustration just all across-the-board.”
Newsom’s two school-aged children also attend private school who re-entered the classroom in the Fall.
The growing chasm from distance learning, compared to other states that have more readily phased-in students, is the true crisis, Faulconer argued.
“Newsom has been derelict in his duty,” Faulconer said. “He’s putting a generation of kids in jeopardy, they’re falling behind.”