State Watch

LA teachers approve school reopening plan

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A union representing teachers in Los Angeles has approved a plan that will allow schools to reopen beginning next month through both physical and hybrid learning.

Officials from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are tentatively planning to restart physical classes for elementary and preschool students by mid-April, Reuters reports. Students in grades seven through 12 are scheduled to return by the end of April.

According to Reuters, the new agreement will have elementary school teachers teach in-person classes unless they have a verified medical reason to teach remotely, while teachers in middle school and high school will mostly teach virtually.

The agreement also includes personal protective equipment, improved ventilation and daily cleaning and disinfection.

“While the improving COVID-19 situation is still fragile, we believe this agreement puts LAUSD on the path to a physical reopening of schools that puts safety first,” United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz said.

LAUSD is also considering outdoor tents for exceptionally large classes, according to the union.

The Biden administration has made reopening schools one of its priorities, aiming to have all children in kindergarten through eighth grade back in classrooms in its first 100 days.

President Biden has pushed for teachers to be prioritized in receiving the coronavirus vaccine, but Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has said that it will likely not be mandatory for teachers to be immunized before schools are fully reopened.

“I think we’ve seen examples where schools can open safely and be effective. But we know that prioritizing vaccinations will only assist with that,” Cardona said on “NBC Nightly News” last Wednesday.

Tags California Joe Biden Los Angeles Los Angeles County, California Los Angeles Unified School District Miguel Cardona school reopening United Teachers Los Angeles

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