A group of 18 school board members from Alpine Union, Julian Union, Ramona Unified, La Mesa-Spring Valley, Cajon Valley Union, Rancho Santa Fe Unified, Lakeside Union, and the Santee Union School District are asking Governor Newsom to give local control for school and staff in school settings.
"What our goal is, is that one size fits all policies stop coming down from Sacramento to local schools, and that can range anything from the mandates that we’re currently seeing to academic measures coming from Sacramento, because what we know is that we’re not elected in Sacramento, we’re elected in El Cajon, we’re elected in Ramona, we’re elected in Lakeside,” said Andrew Hayes, a Lakeside school board member.
The group is also asking to end the state of emergency in California which they say is consolidating the power for educational decisions to the Governor’s office. They’re also asking the Governor to oppose or veto any piece of legislation that removes personal belief exemptions for vaccinations of students and staff. They say they’re not anti-vaccine or anti-masks, they are for choice.
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"I want to make sure that as a school board we can empower those families to make a choice that’s best for them and that’s what I’m about, that’s what this group is about, is to make sure we can achieve those things and have that local control and that’s gotta come from Sacramento, that’s not what’s coming out of Sacramento right now,” Hayes said.
Mask mandates, in general, have been overwhelmingly popular in California according to exit polls and surveys. Some of the bigger school districts in California like San Diego Unified and Los Angeles Unified have supported many of Governor Newsom’s approaches to school pandemic policies. NBC 7 reached out to the governor’s office to get a response to the local school board members' demands and has not heard back.