CA student spacing regulations reduced to 3ft, Teachers Unions up in arms

Written by Urvi Sakurikar

Instead of the previously mandated 6 feet, student desks in California K-12 schools are now allowed to be kept 3 feet from each other. 

The rule came out in light of the CDC’s revised spacing recommendations, and a judge blocking California from enforcing some of its school reopening regulations. 

This means that quadruple the number of students can sit in a class at one time, making the transition to reopening in-person instruction significantly smoother. 

These newly relaxed spacing policies should be a positive thing for students who are anxious to get back in the classroom, but it is no surprise that several teachers unions are in opposition, despite the recommendations of the CDC and vaccine eligibility of school staff. 

The California Teachers Association even referred to the new guidelines as “confusing” and “cramming young adults into classrooms”. 

If the backlash from unions continues, it may fall to Governor Gavin Newsom to intervene with an executive order pushing schools to fully reopen, especially as his own four children have been benefiting from in-person school since October. 

Virtual education is ineffective and has devastated the mental health of students. 

When decisions are made about making a safe transition to traditional classrooms, the science and the students should be prioritized, not the demands of powerful teachers unions who would do anything to avoid going back to work. 

Photo via Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star