San Francisco Mayor pushes schools to reopen

San Francisco's mayor is calling on school leaders to reopen the city's public schools to in person education.

School leaders say in person education will not resume in 2020. The mayor says the schools can be made ready, the school leaders are calling for more testing and more personal protective equipment.

San Francisco's public schools have been closed for in person instruction since march.

Now San Francisco Mayor London Breed says it's time for the city's public schools to resume in person instruction.

"The schools can open now and we need to get them opened now sooner rather than later," said Mayor Breed. "Unfortunately our public schools are not at a point where they have any plans to reopen this year. That is hurtful, that is disappointing and they need to do better."

The Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District has said the schools cannot reopen before the end of 2020, time enough to ensure adequate testing and personal protective equipment.

"We have to COVID-19 measures in place, we have to make sure our school facilities are prepared, for distance learning, for socially distance learning," said Dr. Vincent Matthews. "We have to be sure that there's a three month supply of PPE and cleaning supplies at the schools. We have to make sure instructional learning plans are in place and then we need to have labor agreements in place."

The mayor saying the city has given the schools $15 million to close budget gaps and has laid out a cautious framework to proceed, one that a number of private and parochial schools are following. She says demands such as weekly testing is not something required by the city's public health officials.

At this point she says there's simply no excuse. "It's been several months," said Mayor Breed. "This distance learning thing is not working. And in fact we see private schools are opening now and the achievement gap is widening. Our kids need to be in school."

"When it's said that this school opened and that school had 200 students and 40 employees that's completely different  from a district that has 56,000 and 10,000 employees and a funding measure that they're completely, they're not even on the same plane," said Dr. Matthews.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond also saying he's doing what he can to help schools reopen to in person instruction. Announcing a partnership with General Motors to provide 500,000 facemasks to help California schools prepare for a safe return to in person learning.

"For now we're working closely with and bringing people together to see if we can do more to support the safe reopening of our schools," said Thurmond.