Newsom and Biden say schools can safely reopen without all teachers vaccinated. That might be tough in California

Mark Twain Middle School in Mar Vista, Los Angeles offers COVID-19 testing. The digital board in front of the campus says distance learning resources are online. February 2, 2021. Photo by Amy Ta/KCRW

Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday suggested that in-person instruction in public schools could resume if teachers are prioritized in coronavirus vaccinations. “I believe we can safely reopen public schools to in-person instruction with the appropriate level of safety, and support, and accountability in terms of enforcing the rules of the road,” he said.

“As California goes, so goes the nation” is the cliché. But there’s some truth to it right now, especially when it comes to getting students back in classrooms.

President Biden says he wants to reopen the country’s schools during his first 100 days in office. But California and its teachers’ unions could be one of the biggest hurdles to making that happen.

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