Assemblymember O’Donnell Statement on Safe and Open Schools Plan

For immediate release:

Chair of Assembly Education Committee supports Senate Bill 86 to Ensure In-Person Instruction Resumes

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) issued the following statement on the introduction of Senate Bill 86, the Legislature’s Safe and Open Schools Plan:

“As a parent, a teacher, and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, my top priority is safely reopening our schools while protecting vulnerable teachers and making sure no student is left behind,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell. “SB 86 will ensure that public schools reopen with strong safeguards in place that protects the health and safety of our students, teachers and other school staff.”

“We must address widespread learning loss, as distance learning is ineffective for many students. This bill will provide billions for in-person learning recovery services to get students back on track. These funds will help prevent further widening of the academic achievement gap and support our students in credit and grade recovery. SB 86 also includes increased COVID-19 testing and prioritizes vaccinations for teachers. By setting clear deadlines, adopting statewide safety protocols and providing our schools with the critical funds they need in order to operate safely, students and teachers will be able to return back to the classroom.”

SB 86 provides $2 billion in reopening funds to assist with opening schools for in-person instruction this spring. The plan also provides $4.6 billion in learning recovery funds, and $6 billion in federal reopening aid. Under SB 86, school districts must adopt a COVID-19 school safety plan by April 1st.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District, which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.