Gov. Newsom announces $2B incentive plan to reopen elementary schools in person

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced a $2-billion package of financial incentives to encourage a return to in-person classroom instruction for California elementary school students as early as mid-February.

The elementary schools would have to submit a safety plan, which local health departments can approve or not in five days. 

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The proposal won’t immediately open any additional school campuses as coronavirus surges across the nation and state. 

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But Newsom’s plan emphasizes the return of students in the youngest grades, in kindergarten through 2nd grade, along with students who have special needs. The remainder of elementary school students could return as early as some time in March. 

The plan did not immediately address older students.

It remains unclear just how quickly many districts will qualify, especially those in large urban areas in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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