California will require that all teachers and school employees either provide proof of vaccination or undergo regular coronavirus testing after the school year begins this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, making California the first state to do as the delta variant spreads across the country.
Along with teachers, the new policy will also apply to school staff like administrators, instructional aides, teaching assistants, school bus drivers and janitors.
The plan has already gotten the approval from California’s two most influential teachers unions, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, according to Politico.
“We think this is the right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have for young children … knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe,” Newsom told reporters Monday.
319,004. That’s how many teachers were working at California public schools during the 2018-19 school year, according to the state’s department of education.
What To Watch For
If California students will be required to recienve a coronavirus vaccine. Newsom said Monday he would consider mandating vaccines for students as well, “if necessary.”
California has reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since early July, pushing Los Angeles County to reinstate a mask mandate. Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to require proof of vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor public spaces, similar to a policy New York announced last week. New York also mandates that all city employees, including public school teachers, be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested weekly.