- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who on Tuesday said the next school year in his state could start in July or August, said things will look radically different when students do return to physical buildings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not back to normal — it’s modified,” Mr. Newsom said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “That means, potentially, staggering school start times for different cohorts of kids. It means the recess period being radically modified.”

He also mentioned cafeterias being shut down “and people getting food around their desks,” as well as “deep sanitation” and a “ventilation” strategy.

“It’s very difficult. But we have got to do that,” Mr. Newsom said. “If we’re ever going to get the economy moving again, we’ve got to allow parents to go back to work that can’t afford child care, and we’ve got to do it in a way that keeps our kids safe and our teachers safe.”

Mr. Newsom said Tuesday that California could be “weeks,” and not months, away from modifying its stay-at-home restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen.

Mr. Newsom and some governors such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have explicitly tied the reopening of businesses to plans for schools and child care, saying it doesn’t make sense to reopen state commerce if there’s no plan in place for parents dealing with physical school closures.

Some state leaders had also resisted closing physical school buildings in the first place because they reasoned that schools were one of the only ways for many low-income students to get meals.

Mr. Newsom also cautioned that the state isn’t yet out of the woods of the coronavirus crisis, saying they don’t want to run “the 90-yard dash.”

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