California Governor Gavin Newsom warned today that the state’s public schools will likely stay closed for the remainder of the academic year. The state is gearing up remote education opportunities to accommodate the shocking new normal.
“This is a very sobering thing to say,” Newsom said. “I don’t want to mislead you.”
Newsom made the remarks today at a press conference at the state’s emergency headquarters. While many school districts have only announced closures for a few weeks, Newsom amended that prediction in his remarks, saying a return was unlikely before the summer breaks start in May or June.
“Don’t anticipate schools are going to open up in a week,” he said. “It’s unlikely that many of these schools — few if any — will open before the summer break. Boy, I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that to be the case.”
More than 6 million California public school students are now at home, with 99 percent of the state’s schools closed. There is no state mandate to close, but most districts have voluntarily shuttered as part of the effort to steam the COVID-19 outbreak.
Newsom said that he has also asked the US Dept. of Education to halt standardized testing for the duration.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kansas became the first state to declare its schools would not reopen for the rest of the academic year.