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Mayors from 11 California cities urge state to vaccinate educators

Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson co-signed a letter addressed to state officialson Tuesday, urging them to immediately prioritize vaccinations for educators over kindergarten through second-grade classrooms in order to return them to in-person instruction.

The letter sent to Governor Gavin Newsom, President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) asks that first, educators and school employees for kindergarten through second-grade classes move to the top of the list to receive vaccine doses. Second, they ask that as soon as their first dose has been offered, school districts reopen those grades for in-person learning.

“Prioritizing this relatively small population of TK-2 educators will lead to a significant positive change for our most vulnerable, youngest students,” the letter reads.

It continues by pointing to December last year when the governor revealed a plan to reopen classrooms by a phased strategy. The letter states this recommendation aligns with the governor’s plan, noting that elementary grades three-five could soon follow if kindergarten through second-grades open successfully.

“Our teachers, students, and parents have worked extremely hard to get the best possible results from distance learning, but there is no substitute for in-person learning,” Lock Dawson said yesterday.

“I am hopeful that getting teachers and staff vaccinated as soon as possible will help us get students back in the classroom, which is why I was glad to join with other mayors around the state in this coordinated advocacy effort,” she continued.

As this was written, neither the Governor or other officials had responded to the letter.