BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Recently, the state became the first to require vaccinations for healthcare workers, but following that, Governor Gavin Newsom made another announcement on reopening guidelines this time when it comes to education.
California becomes the first state to require vaccinations for teachers and school staff or to submit weekly COVID-19 testing. This requirement would ask for staff to show proof with a vaccination card or negative COVID report.
“To require that all of our staff, not just teachers but credentialed staff, paraeducators, custodial staff, the bus drivers, folks that are critical to supporting the entire school ecosystem.”
Governor Gavin Newsom expressed that he made the decision based on science, evidence, and data because he says vaccines are safe and effective, adding that ending the pandemic is a “choice.”
Newsom was asked how this requirement would be enforced, meaning could teachers or staff be fired from the school for not being vaccinated? He's confident the state will see compliance but emphasized that those guidelines will be strictly enforced.
“Well, it’s the same way all the other rules and regulations in the school system are enforced. We have an Ed code and there’s progressive sanctions and we don’t distinguish this versus all the other rules and requirements,” Newsom said.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, sent out a statement about the announcement saying, “We support COVID mitigation strategies that are deemed necessary by public health experts, to keep students and staff safe and also ensure schools can stay open in-person for the rest of the school year.”
The California Teachers Association also sent a statement saying, “90-percent of teachers across the state are already fully vaccinated so they support the state’s decision. They stated the announcement is an appropriate next step to ensure the safety of our school communities and to protect our youngest learners under 12 who are not yet vaccine eligible from this highly contagious Delta Variant.
Newsom said about 78 percent of eligible Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but it’s not enough.