Senate Leader Atkins on Schools Agreement: An Important Milestone on a Long Journey

March 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding the agreement and legislation to return California students to classrooms:


“Schools are vital to our state, they are a central part of our communities, and they are a lifeline for California students and families. Enabling schools to reopen safely, based on science, has been one of the toughest challenges we have faced since this pandemic began. With today’s agreement, we are able to address major parts of that challenge and take a big move forward with reopening.

“The agreement announced today will provide funding for schools, prioritize vaccinations for teachers, and get more students back to in-person instruction.  This agreement also helps children get back to the other interactions with teachers, friends, teammates, and classmates that are so important to students’ development and well-being.

“I would like to thank four Senators in particular: Budget Chair Nancy Skinner, Education Policy Subcommittee Chair Connie Leyva, and Education Budget Subcommittee chair John Laird for their countless hours making this agreement a reality, and Senator Richard Pan, whose guidance as a pediatrician has been instrumental throughout this process. I also appreciate Speaker Anthony Rendon for his continued legislative partnership on this and on so many efforts to get critical help and resources to Californians during this pandemic.

“With so many moving parts there have been times it looked like the resolution of school reopening might never come together. With this agreement, many of those parts have been fit together and we have a path forward.

“There is more to do and we will continue to do it. But today’s agreement is an important milestone on a long journey.”


The agreement is reflected in SB 86/AB 86, which went into print today.  



Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: