One critic accused Newsom of engaging in political posturing as he faces an ever-more-likely recall election to decide whether he’ll be able to finish his term in office.
Another critic in Fresno, who’s been pushing for schools in that city to reopen after months of coronavirus shutdowns, said Newsom’s comments reflected a “real lack of understanding” about the experiences of California parents.
“It’s hard for him to relate to parents like myself and the 500-plus members of our group who have kids in public school,” parent and school-reopening activist Marcelino Valdez told the Washington Free Beacon. “He’s had his kids in private school.”
“It’s a real lack of understanding and a lack of leadership on his part,” Valdez said.
Newsom, 53, has four children who attend a Sacramento private school that brought students back to full-time in-person learning in November after a period of “hybrid” home and school classes, the news outlet reported.
Most of the state’s public schools, however, are not set to reopen until early April, with many planning to limit in-person classes to one or two days per week, the Free Beacon reported.
Another Newsom critic, Jonathan Zachreson of Reopen California Schools, took the governor to task for remarks he made during an appearance at an elementary school in Alameda County on Tuesday.
At the event, Newsom claimed he was making “real progress” on reopening schools, even though Alameda County was currently welcoming back only elementary students, according to the Free Beacon.
“He’s not trying to help kids in the state, he’s trying to pretend schools are open to campaign for his recall,” Zachreson said. “That’s the incredible frustration parents are feeling.”
Wednesday was the deadline for recall activists to submit petition signatures in hopes of getting a Newsom recall election on the ballot. The Democrat’s critics needed to collect a total of 1.5 million valid signatures to push the process forward but sought to collect 2 million to ensure the outcome they’re hoping for.
County officials have until April 29 to examine the signatures, validate them and notify the secretary of state.
During his Tuesday appearance on CNN, Newsom told host Jake Tapper he was a “strong advocate” for getting California’s kids back into the classroom.
“I’ve been living through Zoom school and all the challenge related to it,” he claimed.
Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to the Free Beacon story.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this story.