The Paso Robles School Board voted Monday night to delay reopening secondary schools until San Luis Obispo County returns to the Red Tier, or until the state otherwise grants approved reopening.
Previously, the school board planned to reopen the middle and high schools on January 11, 2021. Superintendent Curt DuBost presented three options to the board. The first was to begin a legal battle with Public Health by reopening more schools without their approval. The second option would commence secondary school instruction with distance learning and reopen after the county has returned to the red tier for two weeks. Option #3 also delays students returning to secondary school until 14 days after the county returns to the Red Tier. However, it includes negotiation with labor unions to craft plans for teachers voluntary return to specific classes. The classes would be for all who want to return.
The board received calls and letters from members of the public, including representatives from the Paso Robles Public Educators (PRPE.) Jim Linnett and Justin Pickard each spoke for the Teachers Union. They said they are concerned for the safety of teachers, although elementary school teachers and classified workers are already back in schools with students.
Superintendent Curt DuBost recommended Option #3. The board voted 5-1 in support of that option. Jim Reed cast the lone dissenting vote. He said he feels students should return to the classrooms. Chris Bausch was absent.
Board President Chris Arend reminded the board and the public that the trustees will meet again on Saturday to discuss the recent Grand Jury Report criticizing PRJUSD administrators, the school board and the County Office of Education for mismanagement and lack of fiscal responsibility.