Education

School Boards, Masks, and Vaccine Mandates in California’s Education System

Written by William Hale

As many predicted during peak COVID hysteria, a return to “normal” after the pandemic may be a long shot.

California public schools have drastically changed since the pandemic, as it wasn’t until today that many child care centers and California schools finally peeled back masking restrictions that have been prominent for most of the last two years. 

But COVID has also generated a political shake up in major California school boards, San Diego’s conservative PAC Reform California has been advocating for parents to run for school board seats. “The school boards don’t respect parents…the only way to get those changes is to completely shake up leadership in each of the school districts,” said Reform California founder Carl DeMaio. 

San Francisco’s school board has also been a point of contention, with three members of the board being recalled on February 15th. Mayor London Breed released her replacements for the board on Friday. One of the appointments to the board was recall organizer Ann Hs. 

Vaccine mandates might have been the single most controversial issue relating to California students. However, the numbers tell a different story for every racial demographic regarding student/parent vaccine skepticism — 48% of Latino, 29% of Black, 64% of White, and 81% of Asian students aged 5-11 remain vaccinated among San Francisco schoolchildren. 

Depending on upcoming decisions from the California legislature, these students may or may not be able to continue in-person learning after 2022. 

One of the many unfortunate consequences of online learning was a dip in graduation requirements, along with a general easing of academic standards across the board. No wonder San Diego Unified School District had its highest rate of graduation this year at 95%.

Photo Cred: Fox 5 San Diego