Board of Education
Eugene Brucker Education Center. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

The San Diego Unified School District announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with plans to reopen schools for in-person teaching in the fall.

The district said the state Legislature’s passage Monday night of a budget that reverses $15 billion in proposed cuts to education cleared the way for reopening.

However, district leaders said additional action by the federal government will be required in order for schools to operate for the full school year.

“We appreciate the bold action taken by the Legislature to reverse all spending cuts contained in the May Budget Revision,” said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten. “We urge Governor Newsom to sign this budget and approve a final compromise that gives schools the funds we will need to open in a safe, responsible manner this fall.”

Later on Tuesday, the school board met in an online session and approved a “hybrid” model that would allow parents to choose between full school days with social distancing and smaller class sizes, continued distance learning, or a combination of the two.

No date for reopening San Diego schools was announced and plans remain in development.

San Diego Unified had joined five large districts across the state to oppose the proposed education cuts in May, warning that schools would need more funding — not less — to reopen safely this fall in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the action taken today, California has used every funding mechanism at our disposal,” said Board President John Lee Evans. “Now, it is time for the federal government to do its fair share. The Covid-19 pandemic is a national emergency that warrants a national response. The federal government simply cannot leave an entire generation of school students to fend for themselves in the face of this growing tragedy.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.