On Monday, Los Angeles and San Diego announced, in a joint decision, that public schools across the two cities will be completely remote in the fall to start. This follows Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' statements on Sunday, where she doubled down on President Trump's stance that schools should reopen in the fall even in places where the coronavirus is surging.
In a joint statement, the two California school districts said, "Unfortunately, much of the research is incomplete and many of the guidelines are vague and contradictory. One fact is clear: those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control."
It continued, "Both districts will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow."
New York City has said it will pursue a partial re-opening of its public schools, with students attending a few days a week. Seattle has a similar plan, while Chicago has not yet released a decision.
There are 12.9 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with over 570,000 deaths. The U.S. has over 3.3 million cases, and 135,000 deaths. Miami has taken the baton from New York City as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, Florida reported 15,300 new cases. Back during New York’s peak, the highest daily count was around 12,000.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeDantis compared reopening schools, which he said are essential, to reopening stores like Home Depot and Walmart.
"If fast food and Walmart and Home Depot — and, look, I do all that, so I'm not looking down on it — but if all that is essential, then educating our kids is absolutely essential," he said.
The White House has yet to respond to the decision out of California.