Governor Newsom says the state will set aside 10 percent of its weekly vaccine allotment from the federal government to inoculate teachers, daycare workers, and other school employees. It’s a smashing victory for the teachers’ unions that have demanded they be vaccinated ahead of old people before they will agree to return to class.
It all comes down to whether you think teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and janitors are “essential employees” and deserve to cut in the vaccine line ahead of seniors and other vulnerable groups that have a far higher chance of becoming seriously ill or dying than teachers if they contract the disease.
“It must be done, and it must be done much sooner than the current path we are on. And we believe this will advance that cause,” Newsom said Friday.
The vaccine will be used to inoculate “the ecosystem that is required to reopen our schools for in-person instruction,” including teachers, day care workers and other public school employees, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, Newsom said.
Most of the state’s large school districts have been teaching students remotely for most of the school year.
But 35 of California’s counties are already prioritizing vaccinating teachers and other educators.
“We want to operationalize that as a standard for all 58 counties in the state,” Newsom said.
The state legislature went even further, offering to open schools on April 15 so that most teachers could get vaccinated before schools would reopen. Democrats are terrified of the unions and will do anything to stay in their good graces — including shortchange the education of California children.
A representative of the California Teachers Association described the 10% allotment as “an important step to ensuring teachers and school staff have access to the vaccine before opening schools and worksites for in-person instruction,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Newsom has come under fire for how he has handled the pandemic, especially for imposing strict lockdowns.
Newsom has threatened to veto the legislature’s reopening plan which contains $6.5 billion in funds for schools. The April 15 reopening target by the lawmakers won’t cut it because Newsom is already under enormous pressure from parents who are sick of the teachers’ unions, sick of the pandemic, and increasingly getting sick of Newsom himself. The effort to recall the governor is getting closer to reality, although despite having gathered more than the required number of signatures, validating the 1.5 million signatures necessary to get the recall petition on the ballot “could be tight,” according to Politico.
But campaign consultant Brandon Castillo, who is not affiliated with the recall, predicted the outcome could be tight. He said it will depend on how many signatures the campaign has banked beyond the 1.09 million that registrars have officially received, assuming their submission rate in the following month roughly matches the campaign’s raw total from early January through early February.
“I think it’s very close. I think it’s seriously possible they qualify. But only if they have that additional 400,000 to 500,000 signatures in hand,” Castillo said.
A lot of those signatures are from parents angry at Newsom for his inability to get the schools open again.