San Diego Unified School District teachers have been asked to teach migrant children in-person during their spring break, though students in the district are still learning in an online-only format, according to a new report.
While SDUSD students are scheduled to begin a hybrid model of learning on April 12, with a combination of in-person and online formats, an SDUSD spokeswoman told Fox News that teachers had been offered an opportunity to teach, in-person, migrant children who are staying at the San Diego Convention Center. The spokeswoman did not know if the teachers would be paid for the teaching.
“The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is providing the educational program for the unaccompanied migrant children who will be staying at the San Diego Convention Center through July. All children in California, regardless of immigration status, have a constitutional right to education. We also have a moral obligation to ensure a bright future for our children,” an SDCOE spokesperson told Fox News.
“The educational program will include English language development and social-emotional learning opportunities,” the statement adds. “The teachers who are participating in the program are doing so voluntarily, and the program is following a COVID-19 screening protocol based on guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond criticized the move: “We have 130,000 kids who haven’t been allowed in a classroom for over a year in the San Diego United School District. It’s great that there’s in-person learning for those unaccompanied minors from Central America, but I wish every child in San Diego Country was allowed the same opportunity for in-person teaching.”
Representative Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said “the decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry.”
Emily Diaz, an SDUSD parent noted that 14 percent of the students in the district have disabilities and 23 percent are English language learners.
“San Diego Unified took in millions of dollars in relief funding to bring them back at the beginning of the school year but only 6000 are in-person today and we have no idea how that money was used,” she said. “What is happening right now is immoral.”
A California judge issued a restraining order earlier this month blocking state officials from enforcing a reopening framework that mandated four-foot limits on space between students, and rules required students to remain in small cohorts within a single classroom. The judge, Cynthia Freeland, sided with a San Diego parents group which argued the framework effectively prevented middle schools and high schools from reopening their doors. Freeland ordered the seven San Diego-area districts to “reopen their schools for in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible at the earliest practicable time.”