Reopening California: State superintendent says 'We will not ask for schools to start until it is safe'

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Thursday, April 30, 2020
CA superintendent says 'We will not ask for schools to start until it is safe'
California's Superintendent Tony Thurmond is voicing concerns about Governor Gavin Newsom's consideration of starting the school year in July.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There is still uncertainty on when next year's school year will start for children here in California.

Tuesday the Governor said it could start in late July. Today though, the state's superintendent voiced concerns about that.

RELATED: State considering July school start sparks controversy, backlash

Superintendent Tony Thurmond spoke on Wednesday a little more than 24 hours after Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is considering a late July or early August start to the school year.

"Right now we don't know exactly when school can start and we will not ask for schools to start until it is safe for everyone to come back to our campuses," said Thurmond.

Thurmond addressed the issue first and foremost during a Facebook broadcast geared towards helping parents with distanced learning.

He went on to say, "We will work with our public health officers to make sure the timeline is one that allows for safety. We will not budge from that question."

Thurmond's office released a statement Wednesday saying that he is working with state and national figures to study what measures must be in place before a start to the school year.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces 4 phases to reopen CA businesses and schools

Wednesday he didn't go into detail beyond that, and now many teachers and parents are left wondering, especially after the Governor's "July" comments.

"People were losing their mind over this yesterday online - I'm on a bunch of Facebook parent groups and like 'ooooh nooooo.' There's so much that would have to happen to put us back to July."

That quote is from Karen Chapman, who is a 6th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Newark.

She says she is busy as ever with distanced learning with her students and hopes the high-ups understand that.

"We miss our kids you know, we're working as hard as we can. If anyone says we got an extended vacation they're wrong because this is harder than anything I've ever done."

As to specifics on how schools are going to socially distance that is unclear. Politicians and schools officials haven't gone into great detail on that matter - something that is one the biggest concerns for teachers and students.

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