Will California’s Schools Ever Fully Reopen? There’s Plenty of Money

With a significant portion of the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package earmarked for K-12 public schools, concerns have arisen over potential misuse of those funds. As Fox News recently reported, “Multiple California school districts have discussed using state and federal COVID relief money to hand out bonuses for teachers and staff, with one district’s union even reportedly proposing the money be used for a trip to Hawaii.”

According to the article, Clovis Unified School District, located in Fresno County, proposed granting a $6,000 bonus per employee. San Juan Unified, located in Sacramento County, proposed paying teachers a one-time bonus equivalent to 1 percent of their annual salaries. And the union representing Dublin Unified, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, proposed its teachers receive a $2,500 bonus that could be used for, among other things, “an airplane trip to Hawaii.”

Subsequent investigation has a Dublin Unified union spokesperson emphatically insisting the Hawaii suggestion was just a joke. Fair enough, although a bit out of character. Teachers’ unions in general tend to be rather humorless when they are the targets of jest. In any case, California’s parents and taxpayers shouldn’t be distracted by anecdotal reports of abuse. These are relatively small dollars. The whole gargantuan system deserves withering review.

To get an impression of just how much federal stimulus money, overall, that California’s school districts are getting, EdSource has posted a database showing the amounts per district and per student. Quoting from the summary, “this latest bill will […] Read More