Negotiations to reopen San Francisco schools may have hit a snag

San Francisco Mayor London Breed says despite the unanimous vote by the school board on a deal to bring back in-person instruction, she has doubts kids will be back in school this academic year. There are indications that the negotiations have hit a snag.

For another day, students gathered outside for a 'Zoom-in,' protesting after almost a year of distance learning. 

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman joined the families Wednesday morning, saying he supports them and the lawsuit brought by the city attorney's office aimed at getting schools reopened.

"There are good folks at the district and on the school board who are working to get the schools open and I think people know we need to do this. But, I think the extra push from the parents and the city attorney has been pretty critical," said Supervisor Mandelman.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a deal that would bring teachers back in the orange tier without vaccinations, and in the red tier with vaccinations.

But, there is still not an agreement on details, including how many days of in-person instruction would take place and how many hours students would spend in the classroom.

The teachers' union released a video saying the district is misleading the public, and calling for an unbiased intervention, saying in part, "at this point, we believe there needs to be a trusted mediator to intervene so we can keep this process moving forward and get our students back in school."

Breed said the city is doing its part, including vaccinating those educators among the groups eligible starting today.

"What I'm hoping for is some assurances that as we start to vaccinate educators that the schools will begin to open," said Breed.

Breed also said she has doubts that an agreement will be reached in time for students to return to class this academic year. "The sad reality is, based on the negotiations and the way things are going, I just don't know if schools are going to reopen this school year," said Mayor Breed. "I'm hopeful that they will. But, we don't have control over the negotiations."

The district issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that read: "We are pleased the agreement on baseline health and safety standards was unanimously approved. We are committed to reopening as many schools as possible for in-person instruction as soon as all the necessary and agreed upon conditions are met."