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Newsom Pledges Aid For California Schools’ Reopening Plans

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced a $2-billion package of incentives to encourage a return to in-person classes for California elementary school students as early as mid-February, an effort that could require frequent coronavirus testing for students, teachers and staff.

But given the bleak public health conditions across most of the state as coronavirus cases surge at alarming rates, it is unclear how quickly districts in hard-hit counties will qualify to reopen, especially those in large urban areas in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Newsom’s decision, in essence, eases the strict criteria for county health conditions under which schools can be eligible to reopen. His plan comes amid California’s most deadly spell in the pandemic and increases pressure on local school officials to reinstate in-classroom learning.

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