12.09.20 OC Register: Proposed bill would require in-person instruction at schools when a county’s COVID stats improve

Excerpted from The OC Register.

The proposed law would still allow students to choose the distance learning option, said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, but targets concerns about the effectiveness of distance learning and the overall well-being of youth during the pandemic.

“As a mom, I am profoundly concerned about the shortcomings of distance learning and the harm that it’s causing for a generation of California kids,” said Petrie-Norris, who collaborated with assembly members Phil Ting, Patrick O’Donnell and Kevin McCarty to introduce the bill Monday, Dec. 7.

“Other countries all across the world have prioritized in-person learning and they’ve demonstrated how to do it safely,” she said. “What we’ve seen is that the shuttering of our schools is exacerbating already stark inequities. Here in California, the divide has been particularly stark.”

Petrie-Norris said many private schools have been able to reopen for instruction while public schools statewide, especially in communities of color, have struggled to follow. She believes a “two tier system” of education has been established.