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Roundtable: Speeding Up School Reopenings

Students arrive at Newhall Elementary School Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Sant...

Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Above: Students arrive at Newhall Elementary School Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Santa Clarita, Calif. Elementary school students returned to school this week in the Newhall School District.

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A new law provides financial incentives for school districts that accelerate school reopenings, an investigation into the waiver system that increased nurse workloads during the recent COVID-19 surge, and San ... Read more →

Aired: March 5, 2021 | Transcript

PANEL:

Ricardo Cano, education reporter, CalMatters

Jill Castellano, investigative reporter, inewsource

Kelly Davis, freelance reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

KPBS Roundtable airs on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. on KPBS Radio and at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV. Encore presentation Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KPBS TV.

The Push To Speed Up School Reopenings

San Diego’s public schools are planning to reopen classrooms for in-person learning on April 12, but doing so might leave money on the table. A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom provides financial incentives to school districts that reopen by April 1. CalMatters education reporter Ricardo Cano explains what’s at stake and how the larger effort to restore in-person instruction is progressing.

RELATED: San Diego Unified School District Targets April 12 Return to Classrooms

Hospital Waivers Overwhelm Local Nurses

At the peak of the pandemic, hundreds of hospitals in California applied for waivers that allow an increase in nurse workloads. The special permission to handle the surge in cases was intended to be a last resort. However, an investigation by inewsource and KPBS News found not all hospitals attempted other measures that could have avoided the issuing of those waivers. Investigative reporter Jill Castellano tells us how some local hospitals are among that group.

RELATED: Live Blog: San Diego Administers Its 1 Millionth Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Free Calls For Local Inmates

A unanimous decision this week by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will eliminate charges for phone calls made by people held in county jails and juvenile detention centers. Critics of the fees call them exorbitant and discourage inmates from maintaining connections to family and friends. Studies have shown that outside support systems can help reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Reporter Kelly Davis is covering the issue for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

RELATED: Sheriff Announces First San Diego County Jail Inmate Death From COVID-19

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Roundtable is a lively discussion of the week's top stories. Local journalists join host Mark Sauer to provide insight into how these stories affect residents of the San Diego region.

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