Agreement between Governor Newsom and legislature a major step in safely returning to in-person education

News Release

For Immediate Release
California Federation of TeachersContact: Matthew Hardy, 510-703-5291

SACRAMENTO, CA — California Federation of Teachers (CFT) President Jeff Freitas issued the following statement in response to the school reopening deal announced between the administration and legislative leadership today:

“The deal that Governor Newsom and legislative leaders have reached is a major step in safely getting to in-person education throughout the state of California.

“CFT is encouraged that today’s agreement heeds educators’ calls for broad access to vaccinations for all school employees as an essential safety measure. Additionally, this plan aligns with CFT’s call to ensure equity by focusing resources on our most vulnerable students, including English language learners, foster youth, unhoused students, and students without access to adequate technology.

“As California faces an increase in the prevalence of new and more infectious strains of the COVID-19 virus, we are pleased to see asymptomatic testing regimens in purple tiers, however prefer this testing be expanded to red tiers, which is critical to detect and respond to the virus. Schools across the country have already learned that robust testing is essential to safe in-person education. As we work to keep students, families, school staff, and communities safe, we look forward to working with school districts and counties to build upon the testing framework laid out by the state.

“We had hoped to see more robust state level enforcement in this plan to ensure that all districts take necessary precautions to keep their communities safe. Despite the lack of statewide enforcement, teachers and school staff will work closely with districts and counties to ensure compliance with state guidelines.

“California’s educators and classified professionals are eager to return to safe, in-person learning. Today’s announcement moves us a step closer to that goal.” 


The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 teachers, faculty, and school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education. It is the statewide affiliate of the AFT. More information at