Some San Diego County Districts Rethinking School Reopening Plans

Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to incentivize districts that reopen by March 31 has some districts scrambling to avoid losing money

Gavin Newsom at Paradise Ridge Elementary School
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California state lawmakers' deal to offer school districts $2 billion for safety measures if they reopen schools by March 31 has some districts re-thinking their plans.

In fact, a few districts in San Diego County are scrambling to make sure they don't lose out on state funding.

For example, on Friday the Sweetwater Union High School District had just announced its plans for reopening, with 10% of students on campus each day beginning April 12. It would miss the state deadline, nor would it have enough students returning to campus to qualify for state funding.

In a text to NBC 7 Tuesday, a district official directly involved in the reopening plan wrote, "We are analyzing the legislation and meeting with our administration teams and labor associations this week to determine if it is feasible to modify our existing plans or dates.”

Some local parents understand why the district would attempt to make the changes necessary.

“Unfortunately, we have a lot of underserved families,” said Matt Dickson, who has two children in the district. "We probably have some of the families in San Diego that are in the most need of that money. So that would be unfortunate, if they can’t get it together to secure some of that money for our kids who need it the most.”

The La Mesa-Spring Valley Union School District, meanwhile, plans to reopen April 19, well past the deadline.

In an e-mail to NBC 7, Superintendent David Feliciano wrote, “We aren’t planning on moving our reopening date. Our schools are actually on spring break from March 22-April 5. We are still assessing AB 86, however. It looks like we will receive the majority of the in-person instruction grant that is included in the bill. We are eligible for $3.5 million and expect to receive $3.2 million as a result of opening 10 school days after April 1. By reopening on April 19, we are able to ensure staff have been fully vaccinated.” 

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