Most Americans expect schools to reopen in the fall, but teachers and parents express significant resistance, according to an exclusive USA TODAY/ Ipsos polls.
School can reopen in some districts, the state says, but will parents want to send their children to a place where social interactions areÂ discouraged? And what “defund theÂ police”Â really means. Plus: Find out why that rattlesnake you run into may not be alone.Â
It’s Arlene with news to jump-start your week.
But first, Yosemite National Park will reopen Thursday for day trips and overnight lodging. Just make sure you reserve a day pass, which is now required.
In California brings youÂ top stories and commentary from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Get it free of charge, straight to your inbox. Â
For parents and guardians, two unattractive fall options
The state’s top education official released guidelines for school districts to reopen in the fall, emphasizing it won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach and leaving the ultimate decisions up to locals.Â
“We’re taking the approach if schools plan to reopen, they should plan to reopen under the most safe conditions that we have information for,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Monday.
Read thefull report here.
The school experience,Â as laid out in the state’s guidelines, is a significantly more solitary one, with spaced-out desks and meals, games that limit interaction and staggered in-person classes.Â
The report also called on district leaders to conduct regular screenings of students to find out their social-emotional state and using a trauma-informed lens. DistrictsÂ should also have a system to promote and track attendance, it notes.Â
We don’t know how many students attended virtual classesÂ this spring because the state didn’t require schools to take attendance.
Because of learning loss, impacts to mental health and social development and elevated risks ofÂ child abuse, reopening schools should be a priority, argues theÂ editor-in-chief of the journalÂ JAMA Pediatrics.Â
Poll: U.S. is ‘out of control’;Â that blue-line flag; the last fire camp; PG&E moves, meth pricesÂ soar
Four out of five registered voters think things here are “out of control,”an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.Â
A symbol of police solidarity or white supremacy? A history of the thin blue line American flag.
California’s last juvenile fire campis on the chopping block.Â
PG&E spent a century in San Francisco. It’s moving to Oakland to cut costs.
The price of meth has doubled in L.A.Â since the start of the pandemic, which tightened border security.Â Some federal drug agents predict spikes in burglaries and robberies as addicts strive to pay the high prices.Â
Unemployment, fire alert and rattlesnakes like friends
The Golden State’sÂ all red and orange, meaning lots of unemployment. Here’s a county by county look at unemployment across the country.
Hot, dry weather putsVentura County on fire alert.
A nice thing about seeing a rattlesnake in the wild is that it’s the only one. It probably isn’t the only one around though.Â New research shows snakes like to be around other snakes. Nothing cold-blooded about that.
‘Defund the police’: What it means
Calls to “defund the police” are being made in cities across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after a white officer pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes.Â
Practically speaking, what it means is cutting law enforcement funding and moving the moneyÂ into social programs. For most cities in California, police spending is a community’s biggest cost.Â
“Itâ€™s not just about taking away money from the police, itâ€™s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities,”Â Patrisse Cullors, aÂ co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, toldÂ WBUR. “Communities that have been deeply divested from, communities that, some have never felt the impact of having true resources.”
A major reasonÂ policingÂ costs so much in California is because of officers’ salaries and benefits. In 1999, state elected officials passed legislation that gave Highway Patrol officers the ability to retire at age 50 after 30 years of service collecting 90% of their pay. The retroactive-to-their-first-day-of-employmentÂ raise meant that in retirement, officers earned just about what they made when they were working.
Agencies up and down the state adopted the same compensationÂ (and expanded the offeringÂ to theirÂ fire departments).Â
Police agencies also give campaign donations to elected officials who later negotiate and vote on their employment contracts. It’s a significant conflict of interest.
Here’s where the state’s biggestlaw enforcement group spends its money.
In a typical private union negotiation, company executives and workers wrangle over splitting up profits; in public union negotiations, the taxpayer (whose money it is) is missing from the equation.
Proponents of defunding police sayÂ policing in America has a 400-year track record of racism.
The National Guard, deployed after violence and thievery marred early days of protest,Â prepares to leave California.Â
So Cal remembers George FloydÂ Â
Funeral-style auto processions in memory of George Floydwound through Southern California on Monday.
The processions originating from several locations culminated in a downtown Los Angeles memorial service for Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police two weeks ago continues to draw nationwide protests.
In Houston, a public viewing was taking place the day before Floyd’s funeral and burial next to his mother.Â
What else we’re talking about
A Hesperia man was arrested after lyingabout being attacked by two black men, police say.Â
Masks from Gov. Gavin Newsomâ€™s $1 billion coronavirus contract got federal approval on Monday, after being denied at least twice.
Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer SistersÂ died MondayÂ at her home in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest. Their hits, includingÂ “I’m So Excited,” flooded the airwaves in the 1970s andÂ ’80s. She was 69.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA TODAY Network newsrooms.Â Also contributing: The Marshall Project, CalMatters, EdSource, NPR, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle.Â
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