Assemblymember Devon Mathis Supports School Reopening Plan

Sacramento– Today, Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) supported the plan to reopen our state’s school systems.  The bill, AB 86, incentivizes public schools to plan for and provide in-person instruction by March 31, 2021.

“I stand in support with my local superintendents and parents in reopening our schools,” said Mathis. “I’m grateful that this bill goes a long way to funding our schools to ensure that this reopening process is expedited, not financially burdensome to our school districts, and addresses the widespread learning loss that has been seen across the state.”

AB 86 appropriates $6.6 billion to provide in-person and supplemental instruction, support for students with disabilities and at-risk students in all grades, and full grades from K-6 and 6-12 as specified. The bill, as a condition of funding, requires optional in-person instruction to be offered by March 31, 2021 to students with exceptional needs and priority groups, including students with disabilities, foster and homeless youth, students at-risk of abuse or neglect, students lacking digital access, and disengaged students.

“Let’s be clear that our students are suffering without access to education and sports. Too many of our students have already fallen into gangs, drugs, or worse, suicide,” said Mathis. “The families we represent have been begging us to reopen our schools for months. It’s high time that we listen to our friends and neighbors and not only get the school doors open, but keep them open.”

Additionally, AB 86 will make resources available to address learning loss resulting from school closures due to COVID-19, and helps ensure Cal Grant access and compliance with federal law for the use of Coronavirus Relief Fund.