The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly impacted our communities unlike anything we have seen before. While we continue to make adjustments and sacrifices to the way we live, we must also move forward. This includes educating our school-aged children.
The California Department of Education has been collaborating with a special task force of educators, superintendents, researchers and other experts on how to best address this concern. There is still uncertainty about the reopening of our schools this year, concerns revolving around the implementation of health and safety measures, and new distance learning methods.
Last week, my office sent out a survey asking constituents to share their thoughts and concerns on the topic of reopening schools. We were pleased to receive more than 2,500 responses. Fully understanding these are very complex challenges, the survey strongly suggests parents and guardians want a choice in how, where and when their child is educated, while protecting the health and safety of all children and educators, as well as their families at home. While there is no perfect solution, we must seek the safest and most effective ways to educate our children that will not further stunt or damage their development.
A recurring sentiment from comments in the survey was that there is “no one-size-fits-all answer,” and I certainly agree. Parents and guardians must be given options on how their child is educated. To that end, resources must be prioritized for not only keeping classrooms clean but providing supplies for students to effectively learn. Each child is an individual with different needs and learning styles. We must trust parents to know what is best for them and give them the options and resources to properly serve their families.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. I hope you find the survey results below informative.
Very Truly Yours,