California was supposed to be President Biden’s most important partner in advancing his policy agenda. California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, waxed eloquently in a congratulatory letter to Biden about how California was a progressive model for the nation to aspire to, and pledged his full support and assistance.

But less than two months into Biden’s presidency, California’s chronically dysfunctional politics and self-serving teacher unions have thrown a roadblock in the path to reopening schools, one of President Biden’s key goals for his first 100 days.

Biden is right to focus on getting kids back to school. There is nearly universal agreement that school closures have significantly depressed children’s learning, emotional health and social development.

Mental health-related emergency room cases have increased 24 percent for 5- to 11-year-olds and 31 percent for 12- to 17-year-olds since the pandemic began, as children struggle with isolation and impersonal learning. Math test scores have decreased by as much as 10 percent in year-over-year comparisons.