News

Gov. Gavin Newsom champions new school reopening deal in Palo Alto

Elected officials, district representatives call for in-person instruction during governor's visit

Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses reporters on new state legislation for the reopening of schools at Barron Park Elementary in Palo Alto on March 2. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

UPDATE: Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 5 signed the $6.6 billion legislative package that lawmakers had passed the day before intended to support the statewide reopening of grades K-6 by the end of the month and grades 7-12 in early April. The package includes $2 billion in grants to support safety measures for students and educators returning to in-person classes, including personal protective equipment, improvements to classroom ventilation and regular coronavirus testing. The remaining $4.6 billion will fund voluntary learning expansions, including extending the school year into the summer, tutoring to make up for learning lost amid the pandemic and mental health services for students.

-----------

The day after announcing legislation that would provide $6.6 billion to incentivize school districts to resume in-person instruction, Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Barron Park Elementary School in Palo Alto, praising the district as a model that proves schools throughout the state can reopen safely.

Newsom said the new reopening package, on which legislators will vote on Thursday, coupled with declining hospitalizations, the state's 2.3% positivity rate and increasing vaccine availability, particularly for teachers, should help more schools reopen safely. Palo Alto Unified's 12 elementary schools, including Barron Park, have been open for hybrid learning since October, and sixth graders returned to school for the first time on Tuesday morning. With Santa Clara County moving into the red tier on Wednesday, middle and high schoolers will be back in classrooms, starting next week, for the first time in nearly a year (though they'll still be learning on Zoom, but in a room with peers and a teacher). The district anticipates that more than 5,000 of its 12,000 students, from kindergarteners to high school seniors, will be back on campuses next week, a major milestone for the district.

"Today we are really celebrating success," Newsom said of the district's reopening. "We can do this. We can keep our kids safe."

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The new state legislation, SB 86 and AB 86, provides $2 billion to school districts to support — though not mandate — the reopening of schools as part of a larger, $6.6 billion education funding package. The extra money is meant to encourage districts to bring teachers, students and staff back to campuses, and can be used for anything from personal protective equipment and improving classroom ventilation to COVID-19 testing. School districts have until March 31 to reopen to tap into the full funding.

Newsom said the funding should help assuage teachers' anxieties about returning to work in person and also bolster school districts with fewer resources and in communities that have been hard hit by the coronavirus.

"Not every part of the state has the same resources as this district," he said of Palo Alto Unified. "No one is naive about that."

He said the state's economic revival is dependent on reopening schools, which allows parents to go back to work. He acknowledged that school closures have disproportionately affected working parents and single mothers in particular. The bills include $4.6 billion for extended class time and summer school.

California is expected to receive 1.64 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, Newsom said. The state has set aside 75,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, or 10% of the total supply, for teachers and is designating teacher vaccine days. Santa Clara County opened a new site Monday aimed at vaccinating education workers. Palo Alto Unified was selected this week for a priority vaccination program for employees in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education — not a requirement to return to work in person but "another level of support and safety for everyone involved," Superintendent Don Austin said.

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Austin thanked Newsom for his "clear direction to the state of California that kids belong in schools" and for providing funding to make in-person learning happen safely.

Palo Alto Unified Board of Education President Shounak Dharap encouraged other school boards that are tackling the "gargantuan" task of reopening schools to prioritize flexibility.

"You have to bend like a reed without breaking like a twig," he said. "Districts have to be flexible ... because things are going to change."

State Sen. Josh Becker, D-Menlo Park, and Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, also attended Tuesday's press conference. They emphasized the importance of reopening schools for students' academic and emotional wellbeing.

Becker, who recently called for the immediate vaccination of educators in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, said the state's new reopening package "gives us hope" and "provides a pathway to get our kids back and restore some of their childhood."

"Our kids can't afford to lose more classroom time," said Becker, who is himself a parent of two high school students. "We're at risk of losing a generation of students to distance learning."

Under the proposed legislation, April 1 starts a clock for districts to reopen and if they don't, they lose 1% of their share of the money. If they fail to reopen by May 15, they forfeit all of the money.

"I'd like to think $2 billion in incentive grants to address their anxieties, the prioritization of vaccinations and what's at stake would drive a more aggressive narrative to give it a try and do it right," Newsom said. "With respect, I know it may be difficult to change the paradigm of thinking, but we have that capacity. Our experience and science dictate we can do this safely."

Gov. Gavin Newsom reads a book titled "I Believe I Can" to a classroom of first-grade students at Barron Park Elementary School in Palo Alto on March 2. Courtesy Don Austin.

Newsom said he won't be ordering schools to reopen in the fall and is hopeful that working together will be more productive. He agreed with the Biden administration's prediction that by July there will be "an abundance of vaccines," paving a path to five days a week of in-person school by the fall. (By this story's publication, President Biden announced there would be enough doses of the vaccine for the entire adult population by the end of May.)

When asked about the fits and starts of reopening and the possibility of another lockdown, Newsom said that with declining hospitalization rates and vaccinations ramping up, California is better prepared now to absorb a "modest surge." He encouraged the public to "maintain the vigilance" and continue to follow health precautions even as schools, restaurants and other businesses reopen.

Before speaking to the media, a masked Newsom visited a first-grade classroom where he read "I Believe I Can" by Grace Byers to students, and a fifth-grade classroom where one student explained, from behind a plexiglass divider at his desk, a math problem to the governor.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom champions new school reopening deal in Palo Alto

Elected officials, district representatives call for in-person instruction during governor's visit

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 2, 2021, 2:22 pm

UPDATE: Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 5 signed the $6.6 billion legislative package that lawmakers had passed the day before intended to support the statewide reopening of grades K-6 by the end of the month and grades 7-12 in early April. The package includes $2 billion in grants to support safety measures for students and educators returning to in-person classes, including personal protective equipment, improvements to classroom ventilation and regular coronavirus testing. The remaining $4.6 billion will fund voluntary learning expansions, including extending the school year into the summer, tutoring to make up for learning lost amid the pandemic and mental health services for students.

-----------

The day after announcing legislation that would provide $6.6 billion to incentivize school districts to resume in-person instruction, Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Barron Park Elementary School in Palo Alto, praising the district as a model that proves schools throughout the state can reopen safely.

Newsom said the new reopening package, on which legislators will vote on Thursday, coupled with declining hospitalizations, the state's 2.3% positivity rate and increasing vaccine availability, particularly for teachers, should help more schools reopen safely. Palo Alto Unified's 12 elementary schools, including Barron Park, have been open for hybrid learning since October, and sixth graders returned to school for the first time on Tuesday morning. With Santa Clara County moving into the red tier on Wednesday, middle and high schoolers will be back in classrooms, starting next week, for the first time in nearly a year (though they'll still be learning on Zoom, but in a room with peers and a teacher). The district anticipates that more than 5,000 of its 12,000 students, from kindergarteners to high school seniors, will be back on campuses next week, a major milestone for the district.

"Today we are really celebrating success," Newsom said of the district's reopening. "We can do this. We can keep our kids safe."

The new state legislation, SB 86 and AB 86, provides $2 billion to school districts to support — though not mandate — the reopening of schools as part of a larger, $6.6 billion education funding package. The extra money is meant to encourage districts to bring teachers, students and staff back to campuses, and can be used for anything from personal protective equipment and improving classroom ventilation to COVID-19 testing. School districts have until March 31 to reopen to tap into the full funding.

Newsom said the funding should help assuage teachers' anxieties about returning to work in person and also bolster school districts with fewer resources and in communities that have been hard hit by the coronavirus.

"Not every part of the state has the same resources as this district," he said of Palo Alto Unified. "No one is naive about that."

He said the state's economic revival is dependent on reopening schools, which allows parents to go back to work. He acknowledged that school closures have disproportionately affected working parents and single mothers in particular. The bills include $4.6 billion for extended class time and summer school.

California is expected to receive 1.64 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, Newsom said. The state has set aside 75,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, or 10% of the total supply, for teachers and is designating teacher vaccine days. Santa Clara County opened a new site Monday aimed at vaccinating education workers. Palo Alto Unified was selected this week for a priority vaccination program for employees in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education — not a requirement to return to work in person but "another level of support and safety for everyone involved," Superintendent Don Austin said.

Austin thanked Newsom for his "clear direction to the state of California that kids belong in schools" and for providing funding to make in-person learning happen safely.

Palo Alto Unified Board of Education President Shounak Dharap encouraged other school boards that are tackling the "gargantuan" task of reopening schools to prioritize flexibility.

"You have to bend like a reed without breaking like a twig," he said. "Districts have to be flexible ... because things are going to change."

State Sen. Josh Becker, D-Menlo Park, and Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, also attended Tuesday's press conference. They emphasized the importance of reopening schools for students' academic and emotional wellbeing.

Becker, who recently called for the immediate vaccination of educators in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, said the state's new reopening package "gives us hope" and "provides a pathway to get our kids back and restore some of their childhood."

"Our kids can't afford to lose more classroom time," said Becker, who is himself a parent of two high school students. "We're at risk of losing a generation of students to distance learning."

Under the proposed legislation, April 1 starts a clock for districts to reopen and if they don't, they lose 1% of their share of the money. If they fail to reopen by May 15, they forfeit all of the money.

"I'd like to think $2 billion in incentive grants to address their anxieties, the prioritization of vaccinations and what's at stake would drive a more aggressive narrative to give it a try and do it right," Newsom said. "With respect, I know it may be difficult to change the paradigm of thinking, but we have that capacity. Our experience and science dictate we can do this safely."

Newsom said he won't be ordering schools to reopen in the fall and is hopeful that working together will be more productive. He agreed with the Biden administration's prediction that by July there will be "an abundance of vaccines," paving a path to five days a week of in-person school by the fall. (By this story's publication, President Biden announced there would be enough doses of the vaccine for the entire adult population by the end of May.)

When asked about the fits and starts of reopening and the possibility of another lockdown, Newsom said that with declining hospitalization rates and vaccinations ramping up, California is better prepared now to absorb a "modest surge." He encouraged the public to "maintain the vigilance" and continue to follow health precautions even as schools, restaurants and other businesses reopen.

Before speaking to the media, a masked Newsom visited a first-grade classroom where he read "I Believe I Can" by Grace Byers to students, and a fifth-grade classroom where one student explained, from behind a plexiglass divider at his desk, a math problem to the governor.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Sarah
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm
Sarah, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm

I am SO disappointed in both Newsom and Don Austin. Teachers have not been vaccinated yet!!! Kaiser (which many PAUSD employees have) does not have enough vaccines and is still only vaccinating 65+ year olds. Teachers also work ALL DAY and scheduling vaccines through the county is an absolute nightmare because appointments are incredibly scarce. What are teachers supposed to do?!? Why can't we wait until teachers have had BOTH doses before throwing them to the wolves and forcing them back into classrooms?!?

Don Austin and the entire school board have shown a complete and udder disregard for the lives of teachers. Their promises of PPE and air filters for every classroom have gone unfulfilled. My mom is an elementary school teacher and has been given one N95 mask and told that it is the only one she will receive. She and other staff have asked for more and been told NO. The custodians at her school do not have the proper cleaning supplies or protective gear. This district has failed its teachers. Shame on you Don Austin.


LongtimeResident
Registered user
Downtown North
on Mar 2, 2021 at 3:06 pm
LongtimeResident, Downtown North
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 3:06 pm

Great, now let's get our 2nd - 5th graders back in school full-time, before the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close. We might also, look at summer academic growth programs, to make up for what was lost during Covid-19.

Martin


district teacher
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:05 pm
district teacher, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:05 pm

Interesting that there was no representation for teachers at the press conference. (Who says this isn't political?) Don has done his very best to portray teachers as intransigent and to drive a wedge between teachers and families. Makes me want to weep.


side splitting
Registered user
College Terrace
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:15 pm
side splitting, College Terrace
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Is the real story about Don Austin and Newsom positioning themselves for a spot on the pedestal and future career moves? or is it about the hard work the teachers and parents have done to educate the kids under some of the hardest conditions ever and have been instrumental in getting kids back on campus? Let's not forget the teachers who have committed to continue remote teaching for those students who opted for full distance learning.

And please do a follow up article after the 7-12 graders are on campus for their Zoom classes from a room - is it really back in action?. A real story about what it's really like to be on a screen in a room from teacher and student perspective, NOT Don Austin's, not the School Board's. A range of experiences - the athlete and the artist, the introvert and extrovert, the entitled and the not so entitled etc.

Enough articles about these two egotistical and sexist males. Let's hear from the real people who are making things happen, not just Tweeting to fulfill their own ego.




Paly Teacher
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Just want to give the community some info about how the district is treating teachers and the community.

Yes, teachers were told March 1 about a special vaccination event. It was the FIRST time the district ever sent out official info to help us get vaccinated. All other communication had been about restrictions such as how we have to use sick days to get vaccinated. Thus, we’ve had to figure out for ourselves how to get vaccinated. Not difficult, but when the first word of help you get from your employer arrives after you get your first dose, the supposed kindness rings meaningless.

Further, the district is adamant that teachers return to campus both Thursday and Friday even though students won’t be there. As a result, they expect learning those days to be asynchronous. Those days asked for by the union to help us prep for hybrid instruction. But since we’re just doing Zoom from a Room which requires little prep, my guess is the district is mandating our return on both days and pushing asynchronous learning as a petty adherence to the rules.

All in all, the district is not working in good faith to provide the best learning experience for students. Instead, the supe is working on photo ops.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm

I've been totally disgusted with Newsom's embarrassingly pathetic, waffling, and blatantly political responses to his duty to control Covid-19 infections within CA. Just like Gray Davis, he's totally incompetent and incapable of leading CA during a time of crisis. He's putting parent pressure and political correctness above PUBLIC HEALTH during a Covid-19 epidemic. He deserved to be recalled, and I am an independent, highly intelligent and educated MODERATE who expects proper government above ignorant ideology. Where is Jerry Brown when we need him? He could have dealt with Covid-19 properly. Just dish out tough love and say NO to stupid and ignorant people.

And YES, it is immoral and hopefully illegal to force teachers back into live classrooms until they all are fully inoculated. Palo Alto and other school districts should consider mandatory summer school classes for all K-12 students to help them "catch up". NOW IS TOO SOON TO ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN.


Samuel L.
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:48 pm
Samuel L., Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:48 pm

PA Weekly is now merely a PR firm for the district. Only positive spins on anything. No coverage of latest PAUSD sexual assault concerns that students have raised.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 4:50 pm

The real issue is that the schools should have been making preparations since March last year. They have had one year to prepare. Why hasn't "the plan" been ready long before this?

As with so much during the SIP and pandemic, the closure was expected to be 3 weeks or so, and kept increasing for reasons which were more like delaying tactics rather than anything else. Even when discussions were started about the fall 2020 school year starting, there was no plan. Private schools were able to sort out plans and were able to open with safety in mind. PAUSD kept stalling. The unions of course had a great deal to do with this, but the blame has to be on the BoE and top Churchill officials for not preparing for this also. The blame game, as far as I can see it, is a 3 way failure and finger pointing excuse. Unions, BoE, and county/state snafu sharing the inexcusable reality of incompetence.


Teacher
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 2, 2021 at 5:47 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 5:47 pm

Disgusting and misleading. All self-promotion and optics for Don Austin. Austin tweeted a photo of a classroom full of 6th graders sitting in front of a teacher with no mask on. He thinks that's something to brag about? This is the photo he chose to Tweet? He doesn't even see the glaring safety violation right in front of him -- all he sees is an opportunity to self-aggrandize.

The way the secondary schools reopening has been rolled out should be an embarrassment, not a triumph. Unlike other local districts, PAUSD did nothing to help teachers get vaccinated. Many are still scrambling for appointments, and the district REFUSES to give us time off to go get vaccinated if the appointment we are given falls during our work day. Teachers with medical conditions and documentation from a doctor saying they need to teach from home even after vaccinated are being forced out on medical leave so that students can be taught instead by unqualified substitutes who work for less pay. Teachers with spouses who could die if they get COVID are told to show up or go out on unpaid leave, even though the CDC reopening guidelines for schools state that districts should consider allowing those teachers to teach from home. No one cares.

Don Austin bragged at a school board meeting back in the fall that he had "unlimited funds" to make reopening happen, but he wouldn't buy tents or N-95 masks or even KN-95 masks for his teachers. We asked for tents for outdoor classes before the school year even began, but he wasn't interested. He wouldn't replace fixed windows with ones that open for increased ventilation. He wouldn't replace aging unreliable HVAC systems. Some HVAC systems haven't even been certified as safe yet even though school reopens next week. Campuses have been vacant for a year. Says a lot about how much he believes in "science."

This Board gleefully renewed this man's contract. Says a lot about PAUSD's values, and teachers ain't one of them.


Resident11
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:51 pm
Resident11, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:51 pm

I am grateful. I am grateful for the resilience that so many children exhibited as they were forced to adapt and adapt again throughout a very difficult year that left them with few activities, minimal socialization, and little autonomy (older children). I am grateful for the many teachers who worked hard through difficult circumstances to teach our children this year, and to re-invent their teaching as needed. I am grateful for the parents, and especially the mothers, who gave up so much of their time and their lives to help their much loved children. And I am grateful for the Superintendent and the BOE for pushing, pushing, and pushing to get children back in school where they belong, as it was safe to do so.

I hope that everyone will take a breath, consider the many things we have to be grateful for, and commit together to making the remainder of this school year a good one. For the children. For the community. And for all of us.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:39 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 7:39 pm

“He said the state's economic revival is dependent on reopening schools, which allows parents to go back to work”- I have stated repeatedly here at the Weekly that school reopenings were not truly “safe” even though the supposed “science” says it is. It has always been about reopening the state’s economy and making corporate profits regardless of the dangers to the working class teachers and parents under the guise of “caring about the mental health of children.” The financial elite backed by the corporate media pitted the working class against each other(Parents Vs.Teachers!). Many commenters have compared apples to oranges stating “private schools are open.” Private schools have better funding versus public schools that always seemed to get cuts in funding, you know until suddenly the Government gave them 6.6 Billion(!) dollars under the guise of suddenly caring all about the children and their mental health. Also, there is no state tracking system that is public about Covid cases/outbreaks in schools, so even though those private schools have been “open” no one really knows what the true picture is with regards to outbreaks and spread at those schools.
Also, I want to mention the truly “only in America” victory lap of prematurely acting like we have already somehow “defeated Covid” because we dropped into the red tier and just STARTED vaccinating people. The true picture is we are in a race between the new variants and getting the population vaccinated. We either will have one last “Spring Surge” or we will narrowly avoid it.
Schools are not a bastion of safety during this pandemic and for the remainder of this school year any unvaccinated parent that sends their children to school will be taking a chance with the virus and no that is not “fear mongering.”
As far as Austin, this is the media attention he craves, that he is the “hero that kept schools open.” But of course it was at the risk of his unvaccinated staff and not himself.


Clarification
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:12 pm
Clarification, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:12 pm

People keep saying "it's safe! SCIENCE!" It's safe IF the guidelines are followed. Not *wink wink* followed or just paid lip service...ACTUALLY followed. Teachers are telling you it's not happening or going to happen. Why are teachers so mistrustful? Site admin (the ones Austin is hanging out to dry at board meetings) are going to be overwhelmed. They can't enforce the guidelines for the few students they have right now. Live in EPA and have to walk over a mile to take a shuttle increasing your exposure??? Look! Equity achieved! Let's all pat ourselves on the back after a job well done. Spring break is around the corner--it doesn't cost the district ANY money to advise families not to travel...now is the time to do so and is even late in the game to educate folks who have plans, but Austin is silent on that. Even if it cost money and despite whatever austerity budget Dauber plans on pushing going forward, this isn't the time to pinch pennies. We could be pursuing a gold standard here when we aren't even going to be capable of adhering to the bare minimum.


Keri
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:31 am
Keri, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:31 am

My mother-in-law missed 4 years of school as a child in Nazi-occupied Holland. She finished school and became a qualified nurse, a profession she did for 40+ years. These kids are missing in-person school experiences, but they are not losing years, they are getting different and unexpected experiences. I agree the kids should be at school in person when it's safe and all teachers and school staff have been vaccinated.


Roger Dodger
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 3, 2021 at 6:08 am
Roger Dodger, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 6:08 am

Watching Don Austin preen for the cameras in this little PR dance after failing to notify and/or include the teachers is so distressing. Teachers have worked tirelessly throughout the year to meet the needs of their students in the face of extraordinary circumstances and potential danger to themselves and their families, while facing unprecedented levels of criticism and vitriol from some of the very people they serve. (To be fair, many have expressed their gratitude, and that is welcome and appreciated.)

Don Austin is transparent about one thing, that is for sure, and that one thing is his public profile and his desire and need to be seen as "first" doing whatever the latest shiny thing is. We just endured 4 years of torture at the hands of a national "leader" who was obsessed with being first. Enough already. If you really want to be first, be the first to give up your thirst for shiny PR and make the kids be the actual first priority. Your 15 minutes is almost up.


Working Teacher
Registered user
Barron Park School
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:09 am
Working Teacher, Barron Park School
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:09 am

Hello Everyone,

For what it is worth PAUSD is telling their teachers that 4 feet separation distance is the district's accepted classroom spacing. They say they are following the science and the CDC. Here is the link to what the CDC has posted:
Web Link
Looks like 6 feet is what the science is telling the CDC officials.

Let us not demonize each other, let's all keep holding on to our oar and pulling together to get everyone to a better place. We are fighting a virus, we should not be fighting among ourselves.

Stay safe, strong and, hold on.


Parent
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:05 am
Parent, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:05 am

This article focuses on it being safe to bring “students” back to the classroom which is vital. The safety of the teachers and staff needs to be addressed too.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:11 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:11 am

Where's the documentation of how "unsafe" it is for teachers in the classroom? Private school teachers and public school teachers across the country are teaching, yet we don't read any stories of classroom outbreaks, teachers seriously ill or dying. It's fear mongering, and there is no such thing as zero risk. There is inherent risk in every day living, and if you can't take it, maybe staying home 24/7/365 is a better option.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:30 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:30 am

I post links to Covid school outbreaks as evidence to my posts repeatedly. It is you who choose to ignore the evidence due to your belief that everything is just “fear mongering.”

Here are more schools in Michigan reporting outbreaks:
Web Link

As to your same “private schools are open” I have also addressed this multiple times. Even though private schools are “open,” that doesn’t mean there aren’t outbreaks happening at those schools. There is not a National tracking database for reporting outbreaks in schools. Not to mention it’s an apples to oranges comparison anyway based on how public and private schools are funded.

Here is an article explaining how many educators/school staff have already been lost with schools barely open:
Web Link
This doesn’t mean they all contracted it in the classroom but you can find some that did with an easy internet search.

Here is more documentation that schools might not be safe like you asked for:

Web Link

[Portion removed.]


Forever Name
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:31 am
Forever Name, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:31 am

@ Working Teacher.
The World Health Organization (which the teachers CTA union references in their latest bargaining doc -- so we can only assume the CTA is following the WHO's recommendations), recommends ONLY 1 meter distance, that's 3ft. An entire continent (Europe) is using 3ft. And many schools (in Europe, the U.S. public, and CA private, and even the entire Roseville CA district) have opened with NO distance, just masks, and no resulting spread. For example, all of Marin County schools have been back since August (!) with 4 ft, no spread, no union/teacher fear mongering.

If anyone would like to know the actual data around cases and lack of spread in school (spread in school much MUCH lower than surrounding communities), watch this Webinar on Covid & Schools from Feb 24 with a panel of health experts, all doctors from Stanford & UCSF. The webinar was for teachers, parents, students, community, etc.

Our Schools and COVID-19: A Community Conversation
Join us for a data-driven discussion addressing the facts around COVID19 and schools, mental health, masking, testing, variants & vaccines.
February 24, 2021

Web Link


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:37 am
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:37 am

“Under the proposed legislation, April 1 starts a clock for districts to reopen and if they don't, they lose 1% of their share of the money. If they fail to reopen by May 15, they forfeit all of the money.“

Why should teachers have to schedule and then, take a sick day for the vaccine-
-I would think it obvious that there should be shots provided to ALL school district staff AT each school.

This seems absurd to force teachers back to school, I know if this was my vocation, that I would be fearful, frustrated, and mistrustful.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:45 am
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:45 am

I would like the state to release all the information on why they closed the school down in March last year. They need to provide all the information on why they closed the school for almost an entire year. Now that the State wants to open the schools they should be required to provide information on why they are now opening the schools. I have my doubts if the State ever had any information when they closed schools down in March of 2020. The public has a right to know why the State dictated the policy without input from the public. The last article I read about teachers who had passed away, indicated last year 11 teachers had passed away last year from the virus in the entire country.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:53 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:53 am

Most people want schools open (even Newsom and the CDC) and fear mongering is exactly what it is. You don't get to decide the risks for teachers either, and I'm my own boss.


cmarg
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:54 am
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:54 am

Teachers can get vaccines at CVS - Town & Country as well as University Avenue. I talked with a teacher (not in PAUSD) that had gotten the vaccine on Friday.
Also, appointments at Levi stadium for teachers are available, sometimes day of request, since they are now in the priority list.
Web Link
They both offer vaccines until 6pm so not impacting teaching hours.


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:00 am
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:00 am
R. Cavendish
Registered user
another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:38 am
R. Cavendish, another community
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

What's with the sloppy 'fashion statement' Mr. Governor (upturned suit collar, no tie and white sneakers)?


Teacher
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

@ Jennifer and Jr1- Private schools are: teaching outdoors, replacing HVAC systems, have much smaller class sizes, making parents agree not to travel, testing students and staff weekly, etc. PAUSD is not doing ANY of that. You just can't compare.

Also, the data around COVID spread in secondary schools is limited. I agree that opening is pretty safe in elementary schools, IF appropriate precautions are taken, NOT like the 6th grade PAUSD classroom photographed the other day with the maskless teacher standing in front of a room full of students. But any adult who is not fully vaccinated (so 2 weeks after 2nd shot) working indoors with teenage students on our campus is absolutely taking on additional risk. And with the new variants spreading, the vaccine won't be as protective, either. With families allowing their kids to socialize without masks on (I see them all over town) and traveling over spring break (many students getting on airplanes soon), I don't see how you can deny that there is some risk here. Demanding that we take on that risk to serve your children while being treated like a bunch of paranoid crazy people is really infuriating.

There is also a looong history of this district ignoring teachers' safety concerns -- about phones, door locks, fire drills, broken alarms, etc. We also have a superintendent who is out for his own political promotion, is dismissive and disrespectful in his communications with teachers, and seems to not believe that COVID is actually a big deal. We have a Board that repeatedly ignores our professional opinions on educational, equity, and safety issues. So forgive us please for being skeptical when these people tell us we will be perfectly safe, unvaccinated, indoors, with teenagers, when the HVAC doesn't work half the time and the windows don't open, when some of the logistics are still being worked out even though school resumes in 5 days. Then there are the headlines about a possible 4th surge coming...


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:27 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Teacher - Public schools across the country are teaching indoors, including two of my cousins in the mid-west. There have been no outbreaks. There is no such thing as zero risk. There is inherent risk in every day living, and you have to be responsible, and learn how to deal with the risks. Staying home all day is not how people live.

And with vaccines available, get vaccinated and return to the classroom. Most people who get Covid probably have no idea where they got it. They have family, friends, jobs, etc. They go to the store., etc. and are exposed to strangers everywhere.

In my opinion, the worrying has nothing to do with Covid and everything to do with worrying too much. People can reduce their anxiety levels.


Palo Alto Resident
Registered user
Downtown North
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm
Palo Alto Resident, Downtown North
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

These teachers make me sad. Hopefully just a small minority of the total. They lined up to oppose elementary reopening last September, warning of dire outcomes, none of which have come true. Now most of the world has opened their schools, and still, not good enough for them. I appreciate your teaching our kids - but for judgment about how to run schools, I'll turn elsewhere.


Bud Green
Registered user
Green Acres
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm
Bud Green, Green Acres
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:58 pm
Whatever
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm
Whatever, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:21 pm

I'm a teacher in the district and everyone has a right to their own feelings and opinions. (24YEARS)

Bottom line, you don't want to come back then go to another district where you feel more appreciated, safer etc...you have that choice and that is okay.

I'm of the school of thought that we are essential for kids and their mental health and it is my job to GET BACK TO SCHOOL AND BE THERE FOR KIDS WHO ARE COMING BACK.

I could not believe union members had their feelings hurt because we were not told about Newsom visit. WHO CARES!!! I'm too busy teaching and coaching to worry about crap like that.

You know how I KNOW that PAUSD appreciates me: My paycheck keeps showing up every month and I still have a job through all this crazy time.






The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:37 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:37 pm

[Portion removed.]
The state doesn’t owe the parents ANY explanation of why schools closed initially and haven’t began reopening until now. I mean we all lived through it. Anecdotally, if you were the Governor and you had a new disease that could possibly kill children if schools were left open, would you want to be that Governor that left schools open? Of course not.
[Portion removed.]

Teacher-I agree with you. Don’t listen to the people here who are misinformed and just want to demand things. I’ve posted a load of data about how schools across the country constantly have outbreaks. Many here just demand teachers to get back on the job because this whole pandemic thing is just “inconveniencing them.” Your best bet is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.


Palo Alto Resident
Registered user
Downtown North
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm
Palo Alto Resident, Downtown North
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 1:51 pm

[Portion removed.] The elementary schools in Palo Alto have been open since October - all 12 of them, in hybrid mode - and the district reports that not a single case of in-school spread has been documented by contact tracers. Not a single case. So if the people who delivered that result - local officials following state and local public health protocols - now say they can open secondary schools, like other schools all over the world, I'm inclined to believe them.


jr1
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:19 pm
jr1, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:19 pm

The State of California owes all of us an explanation of why the schools were closed down for an entire year. The information should be released on why they closed the schools and why now they are opening the schools. The taxpayers of this state pay the salaries of teachers and we have a right to know.


Paly mom
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:49 pm
Paly mom, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 2:49 pm

I'm happy to see our district is going to open more in-person learning for students, at least there are options for students who really need to go back for human interaction. On the other hand I'm sad when I see most other districts are refusing to return in-person learning even for K-2nd grade. Some of the teachers in the teacher union don't believe in science data, they never change their mind to accept the new data. Vaccinations are coming to their ways, please be realistic and work with each other.

For Newsom's PA visit, I think it's an encouragement for other districts and for the teacher union. There's nothing wrong with it.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 3, 2021 at 3:16 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 3:16 pm
Anony Mouse
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 3, 2021 at 6:52 pm
Anony Mouse, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 6:52 pm

I was hoping to move the analysis in a different direction. This show put on by Don and the Gov. is a data point. Don did not see fit to share the spotlight with the people who have moved mountains for this community. Students and teachers were used as props in this drama. As a teacher, I think about the PAUSD institution and its long term capabilities. Don is clearly halfway out the door, driving hard for another job. Will he leave an institution in better working order than when he arrived? My perspective is no. He's created an admin corps that is completely "on message", as long as the message is Don's success. Any dissent is dealt with internally and swiftly. What healthy leader or institution stifles bad news and bad news deliverers? Classified and Certificated staff morale is at rock bottom. He's only interested in hearing from positive, smiling people. What healthy institution fails to listen to difficult messages? It takes real skill to manage a large organization that delivers care and education. Don has no clue what the toll his "message driven" leadership has taken from his admins and the rest of the organization. How does an institution deliver on our mission when leadership sends a strong message to front line people that they are worthless? The next stage of this pandemic for PAUSD will be re-building. We need to re-build institutional morale and capability. This requires someone with HR skills. People skills. Generosity of spirit. These are in short supply right now.


Anonymous
Registered user
Barron Park
on Mar 3, 2021 at 7:11 pm
Anonymous, Barron Park
Registered user
on Mar 3, 2021 at 7:11 pm

Thrilled for our kids that they are finally being prioritized after a long year of it being all about the teachers. Thank you Don Austin and the school board for doing what is clearly the right thing. If only Newsome, had the same courage and conviction to do what's right for our kids then perhaps he wouldn't be so close to a recall. I'm very sad and sorry for the teachers that some are still so scared despite being prioritized for the vaccine. It's just painfully obvious that it will never be safe enough for those who prefer to work from home. Thankfully, it appears that those are the vocal minority and I'm confident when the kids return next week the majority of teachers will show up, rise to the occasion and celebrate being able to teach in the best way possible.


Petra Karenter
Registered user
Professorville
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:01 am
Petra Karenter, Professorville
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:01 am

Keeping the kids out of school for the past year is by far the worst public policy decision of my lifetime.


Clarification
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:05 am
Clarification, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:05 am

@Anony Mouse: Agree 100%. Here's what's likely to happen: There will be no reckoning or taking stock. As soon as the people in this community who are loudest and have the most pull over admin and the school board are comfortable again, there will be no further action. Doing so would mean decentering the status quo rather than continuing to make worthless gestures (remember the equity declaration the school board made over the summer???) that make people feel good about themselves but never accomplish any real change because real change would upset the apple cart. The way this community (one of the most resourced, educated) has handled this situation is pathetic (on ALL levels). If anybody could've done this the best way (and not just for mememememememe, this community could've actually come up with something for others--GASP) it was us--zero excuse making. Here's a start: send Newsom to the non-Basic Aid primary schools/tk...you know, to read to kids whose parents aren't donors. You know, a low-hanging fruit of an idea for a community that vocally prides itself on being the smartest and the best...


Anonymous
Registered user
another community
on Mar 4, 2021 at 9:36 am
Anonymous, another community
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2021 at 9:36 am

@Palo Alto Resident No, you are wrong about cases at the elementary schools. My child attends one of them and at least once per week or every other week we receive a notice that there was a case at that school.


Jane Anon
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:13 pm
Jane Anon, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 4, 2021 at 7:13 pm

Here's a fact:

PAUSD teachers are angry and frustrated and scared. And they will be interacting with YOUR children next week. I know because I am one. Everyone teacher that I know wants another job. If you are out there and remember how great place Palo Alto schools used to be -- well, shed a tear because its over. This district couldn't wait one more month to open safely. I was at Levi Stadium getting my first vaccination dose yesterday (which, by the way, PAUSD gave no assistance with). The place was full of teachers from other districts who couldn't believe that PAUSD was putting teachers back in the classroom before they are fully vaccinated.

I will NEVER forget or forgive the position that this district is putting me in next week.
I used to be the most joyful and loyal teacher. Now I'm so angry at what has happened to my school, my colleagues, my trust.


Anony Mouse
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm
Anony Mouse, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm

The comments of @jane are a representation of the damage caused by our leadership. It erodes the capabilities of an institution when leaders engender this level of stress and pain. How can the people charged with delivering care do their best work under leadership that is clearly uncaring and nakedly self interested? Your children deserve the best. We want to deliver the best, but we need support. Many of you reading this are part of the knowledge worker managerial class. Tell us, is this a way to run a knowledge worker institution? In a way, teachers are knowledge workers. Please weigh in with your thoughts


Resident11
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:23 pm
Resident11, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:23 pm

My thought: Teachers such as @Jane and @Anony should stop trying to use our children as pawns in their battle with the administration. I can only imagine the resentment you are suggesting that our children will face as they go to school next week. That kind of threat is unacceptable and in a "knowledge worker" workplace would be a firing offense.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:49 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 7:49 pm

I don’t think the teachers will resent the children. I’m sure they will certainly resent some of the parents like the ones making comments about being all worried about their property taxes, or the ones comparing them to grocery store workers and medical workers, or the ones stating “only 11 teachers died!”, or the ones talking about how schools are open in other countries when the U.S. has had the biggest outbreak, or the ones that say it’s all fear mongering, or the ones that wouldn’t listen to the educators that said “this won’t work,” or the ones that say private schools are open so why can’t public schools be open, or the ones that downplay the dangers of the pandemic, or the ones that blame the teachers union, or the ones that point to teachers as Covid data points, or the ones that thank Austin when he doesn’t actually work in person. Teachers will likely resent the administration for, like Jane said, not waiting at least one more month so that staff can be vaccinated. But who knows how some teachers might feel after all of that and maybe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I’m sure the teachers will likely stay professional and not take it out on the students but you never know how some people will react in such a weird situation. I wouldn’t blame them if they were upset but I’m hoping it all works out. The main thing for teachers would be to get vaccinated as soon as possible for an added layer of protection. Teachers and school staff are human beings too and ultimately the responsibility of a child is on the parents until they turn 18. If parents aren’t vaccinated there is danger by sending your children to school as they could bring the virus into your home. Thank you teachers for working online and delivering instruction in distance learning during this terrible year. There is light at the end of the tunnel now with vaccinations increasing. Hang in there everyone and stay safe.


Anony Mouse
Registered user
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:22 pm
Anony Mouse, Charleston Gardens
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:22 pm

@resident11: I'm sorry you feel that there's some sort of implied threat. I'm really asking about how to optimize the performance of knowledge worker teams in difficult situations. We're obviously going to do our level best. Is there a better way? You've got some data points presented in this thread about teachers being unheard, and a leadership team very focused on public posturing and squelching of dissent or any "bad news". If we were a hot silicon valley company, would this be the way to manage the team? Is this the way to optimize front line, customer-facing employees?


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:38 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Mar 5, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Whatever -- Thank you for putting the children first. Your heart is in the right place, and sadly, too many people are in the wrong profession. I feel sorry for kids that have to deal with self centered teachers. I now understand why so many parents home school their kids. Thankfully, our kids are grown. Every teacher I know can't wait to return to the classroom (prior to vaccines). [Portion removed.]


Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2021 at 10:24 am
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 10:24 am

Does anyone happen to know why so many teachers/staff are retiring this year? Looking at the board agenda for next weeks meeting, there are approximately 40 people retiring, many with over 20 years of service. I know this is the time of year when staffing changes are made, but looking at past years, this is at least 2x the highest in the past few years.

Is this virus related? Austin related?

Web Link


Resident11
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Resident11, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Samuel here is what it said in the Superintendent's update:

RETIREMENT INCENTIVE & THANKS
PAUSD was recently able to provide early retirement incentives to employees. As a result, over 50 employees across all groups accepted additional compensation to retire from the District. The move honored our most-veteran staff members and allows the District to begin recruitment efforts for 2021-22 immediately.

While the move benefits employees and will result in opportunities for others, it will also result in the loss of some pillars of PAUSD. Without using names, we will say good-bye to people who have dedicated enormous amounts of time, energy, and love to support our students. Their efforts are appreciated and are worthy of thanks and praise. The next group hired will inherit some amazing situations because those before them set the stage. Congratulations to everyone who has served us with honor for as long as 50 years!


Anony I don't know that I can speak for all "knowledge worker" companies but I can say that in my experience whenever there are difficult decisions like this - and they happen all the time - once the decision is made everyone is asked to commit to it and make it successful. That is teamwork. Your "side" will not always win but when it does this is the behavior you want and need. Passive aggressive obstructive post-decision behavior is looked upon very poorly.


Bill Stewart
Registered user
Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:49 pm
Bill Stewart, Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 1:49 pm

I'm disappointed to see Newsom pushing to reopen everything, just because the Republicans are whining a lot. When the kids are vaccinated, it'll be safe to have them back in school. And if you really insist on sending them back before that, schools make sure all the teachers and staff are vaccinated, and have everybody get their temperatures checked on their way in (or preferably, have everybody in the students' families also temperature-checked.) It's not like Palo Alto couldn't build a simple track&trace.

Meanwhile, for the people giving us anecdotes about how private schools, with kids whose parents are almost all white-collar work-from-home types, aren't having big outbreaks, we're also seeing stories in the press about school districts that open up, and a week later have some teachers and half their school bus drivers out with COVID.


Anony Mouse
Registered user
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm
Anony Mouse, Charleston Gardens
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 6:10 pm

Thanks resident11. I think I get it more now. Thankfully, my colleagues have done exactly as you suggest. Do the work. Make it happen. Fill in the gaps when higher ups make bad choices. Provide the best possible experience with the personal resources the we have. We have complained here and in board meetings, but make no mistake, the customer facing product has been the best we can deliver under a historic disaster. It’s one of the Silicon Valley religions of “optimize everything “ that I’m still stuck on. Are the taxpayers well served by the erosion of morale, and hollowing out of staff through retirement the has occurred? We see what the PR spin is on that number of retirements, but the incentive to retire was minuscule. If you look under the surface you might call it a dangerous hollowing out of institutional knowledge and experience. Let’s be really clear eyed about this district. Not everyone has the finesse and thick skin needed to survive a very demanding population. As we hire and fire and hire and fire in search of the right people, there are real consequences. Children will suffer. Litigation will happen. Are the taxpayers well served by this leadership and their decisions?


Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2021 at 7:36 pm
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the info Resident11. Does he happen to mention HOW they were able to offer incentives and what the incentives were (i.e. how much) or where the money came from?


Jane Anon
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 6, 2021 at 11:42 pm
Jane Anon, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Mar 6, 2021 at 11:42 pm

When I started working in this district, I immediately noticed the pride and professionalism that Palo Alto teachers had for their jobs. It was a place where teachers wanted to work. If there was an opening on campus, there would be a group of qualified people vying for the position. I felt so grateful to work in PAUSD.

Now, almost every teacher I know would leave if they could. Many are retiring. More are counting down to retirement. Some are planning to go elsewhere. The rest just feel trapped. I've been on the hiring end of things and our reputation makes attracting talented people (both teachers and administrators) a challenge. These days, we just hope to get a qualified candidate that we can hold onto.

This is an urgent situation and this community would be wise to be very concerned. Recruitment and retention are very real problems facing PAUSD schools -- people don't want to work in them. I should think we all could agree that it's in everyone's best interest to maintain schools that are desired workplaces.


The Real Slim K
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2021 at 8:17 am
The Real Slim K, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 14, 2021 at 8:17 am

Way to go Mr. Austin, way to go, Gavin. 'Waffling' is not the same as listening, researching, updating, and moving forward. If you want to see the opposite, those who don't listen, seldom research, and will be the last to move forward, listen to the maximum lock down forever people. Folks? yes, we hear you, how could we not? But your opinion is not holy or even particularly anti-Trump any longer.


Parent
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Mar 30, 2021 at 9:03 am
Parent, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 30, 2021 at 9:03 am

teachers and kids being used in a political media campaign, again.

with a recall barreling his way, newsom had to get out in front of cameras and show the state he's pro-reopening. he can't afford to make enemies of republicans AND the 50% of democrats who turned anti-labor union this year (statistically mostly white and affluent democrats.)

funding for the recall is not just coming from republicans, but also from palo alto based techies and vc's. see chamath's twitter feed, for example, for evidence of anti-teacher-union statements over reopening, and his pledge to run against newsom if the recall is successful.

we also have school board members with significant connections (and personal aspirations) within the democratic party.

they benefitted by getting newsom out in front of cameras here, too. they need to salvage their public images from a year of backing a superintendent who has treated teachers horribly and has rubbed parents as being suspiciously trumpian.

otherwise, why didn't newsom pick menlo park district instead? a district that reopened before us, and involved parents and teachers and students and all stakeholders in conversations early-on with far less controversy than palo alto?

thank you pausd teachers. you have sustained so much this year, with very little support from parents or your leadership. sorry you have been used, along with kids, in the political media campaigns of our very well-connected board members.

speaking of which, would be really great if PAW did some objective educational reporting and stopped acting as a pr firm for austin and the board.


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