California Governor Gavin Newsom faces new criticism after his Thanksgiving rules online – this time regarding the personal upbringing of his own children.
The critics attacked the Democratic governor on Twitter after he revealed on Friday that he is sending his four children, ages 4 to 11, back to a private school in Sacramento County for personal learning as part of a “step-by-step approach” while state public schools are still waiting to reopen.
“They are gradually going back to school, and we are finishing the very challenging distance learning that we have been doing, so many parents across the state,” Newsom said at a press conference on Friday.
The private school is currently offering a mixed timetable for students before fully resuming classroom instruction next month, a source told Politico on Friday.
In July, during the COVID 19 outbreak, Newsom allocated $5.3 billion in state and federal funding for schools and provided two months’ worth of PPE to districts. He has consistently advocated the safe reopening of schools throughout the state, but has allowed local districts to make their own decisions about reopening.
The Sacramento District is allowed to open classrooms in accordance with Newsom’s reopening plan, which has given the districts the green light for a less restrictive reopening level and the resumption of indoor activities, including personal instruction. Several large public school districts, including San Juan Unified, where the governor lives, and Sacramento City Unified, have yet to reopen.
“We strongly believe that social-emotional classroom learning is the best place for our children, certainly the best place for their parents,” Newsom said at the press conference. “And so it is our absolute duty to do everything in our power to help our districts reopen safely, with the emphasis on safe reopening.
According to an EdSource analysis released this week, 21 of California’s 58 districts have to some extent implemented personal instruction or plan to do so soon. But while many schools are able to gradually re-open, many teachers are voicing concerns about testing, tracking and PSA that are preventing schools in large counties from reopening safely.
However, critics are concerned that the reopening of private schools is a “double standard” compared to continuously closed public schools in the state.
“Once again, I repeat, we have not yet come close to fully addressing the fact that in many parts of America we now have private school children being taught personally while children in public schools are zooming in,” ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis twittered in response to Newsom’s announcement.
California State Senator Melissa Melendez of GOP California also tweeted: “Children all over California are locked up at home struggling to get an education. I am so glad that Newsom has been freed from its ‘challenging distance learning situation'”.
She added: “Let’s talk about the privilege of white people.
“This is another example of political elitism in California,” wrote Republican congressional candidate Buzz Patterson. “Our children still cannot attend, but Gavin’s children can? Let them eat cake.”
Members of the California Assembly have urged the governor to propose more security measures to reopen schools, including more testing. Newsom announced on Friday the opening of a $25 million laboratory that will increase the state’s COVID testing to help schools reopen safely. The move comes a month after the California Teachers’ Association sent a letter to Newsom, Superintendent of Public Education Tony Thurmond, Speaker of Parliament Anthony Rendon and Senate Leader Pro Tem Toni Atkins expressing their concerns about plans to reopen personal instruction.
Newsom is no stranger to criticism this week as Californians – including several celebrities – rejected the strict restrictions imposed by the governor for Thanksgiving. The restrictions include gatherings with no more than three households; masks should be put on after eating and drinking; and singing, chanting and shouting is “strongly discouraged.
“Dear Emperor @GavinNewsom. If my aunt comes to our house for this Thanksgiving, can I throw a slice of turkey out the window for her?”, comedian Rob Schneider tweeted. “We promise NOT to sing… we’ll all just whisper: ‘PLEASE call back DIPS*** GAVIN NEWSON!
“Hey @GavinNewsom as a new resident of California. I live in a condo,” twittered country singer Cody Wolfe, who has since deleted the tweet.
He added, “That’s why I can’t have my Thanksgiving outside, but it’s okay if I come to your house to spread some holiday cheer on your dining table.
The state reported 5,087 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 922,005. It also reported 55 more COVID-related deaths, with the number of deaths since the pandemic began reaching 17,626.
Tekk.tv contacted Newsom’s office for comments, but did not receive a response in time for publication.