San Francisco public school students will not be returning to classrooms Jan. 25 as originally planned

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Unified School District and teachers' union failed to come to an agreement on reopening amid COVID-19.

Roughly 14,000 students between January and March were scheduled to go back to in-person classes in San Francisco. That's not happening anymore.

"This is a sad day for kids in the city and we need to do better by them," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Mayor Breed says the union has unrealistic requirements and added, "We won't be able to realistically test every student, every week. We won't be able to make sure that a certain percentage of people are vaccinated before we open school. There are things we won't be able to do right away," said Breed.

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According to the school district, labor groups proposed "no staff or students return to in-person classes until the city is in the orange tier."

In a press release Dr. Vincent Matthews, SFUSD superintendent, said "I am disappointed that we cannot offer a guaranteed date for when we can resume in-person learning for our youngest and most vulnerable students."

"It's devastating. It's ridiculous frankly. We are behind so many states," said Jennifer Sey, San Francisco parent and member of Open Schools SF.

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Sey is concerned more kids will fall behind when they go back to distance learning on Jan. 5.
"The most vulnerable that's who we were talking going back on Jan. 25. Kids with special needs, homeless kids the youngest possible kids who need socialization," Sey said.

This group of parents are planning to rally in Sacramento on Jan. 16 calling for state intervention.

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Mayor Breed is hoping the SF Teacher's Union and the school district renegotiate and "use the guidance of public officials to make decision to safely reopen schools."

Mayor Breed pointed to several examples during the pandemic that worked for in-person learning.

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"We've had community hubs open with children and no major outbreaks. We've had a lot of schools that have opened and we haven't seen any outbreaks so we have some examples of this working," said Mayor Breed.

ABC7 contacted the United Educators of San Francisco and have not received a response.
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