Opinion – Newsom puts appearance of safety above actual student safety

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, Vice Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, released the following statement in response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that most California schools will not be allowed to offer in-person instruction to start the school year:

“The deck has been stacked against local officials in recent weeks as politics and special interests, not science, have driven school closures. Today Governor Newsom had an opportunity to put his support behind school districts that choose to safely offer classroom-based instruction.

“But rather than adopting a balanced approach that provides California families options for classroom-based and home-based learning, the governor is shutting down the vast majority of schools across the state.

“Today’s decision elevates the appearance of safety over actual student safety. A growing body of evidence suggests school closures do little to flatten the epidemic curve, while an abundance of evidence shows they are a calamity for kids.

“By giving himself political cover, Governor Newsom has exposed millions of kids to untold trauma and loss. The impacts of school closures will be devastating for working parents, academic equity, and mental health.

“Under our State Constitution, ‘Education is a fundamental right of each child in California.’ But with today’s decision, we’ve once again seen that when it comes to education politics in California, it’s not about the kids.”