6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
HvlSxHY-show-poster2x3-4ik43uV.png

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

LAUSD to Offer In-Person Services Next Week and Targets April for More Reopenings

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner gives a video update on plans to reopen school campuses.
Courtesy of LAUSD, via LAist
Support Provided By

The following article was originally republished Feb. 22, 2021 through a collaboration with KPCC and LAist.

Story by Caroline Champlin


The L.A. Unified School District will resume some specialized on-campus services next week as the district works towards a broader reopening targeted for April 9, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced during his weekly video update on Monday.

Next week's in-person offerings will include child care, special education services, athletic conditioning and small-group tutoring, based on existing terms set last October by the district and the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles.

Under that agreement, educators can voluntarily provide in-person support, but the district cannot compel them to participate. Last semester, about 4,000 LAUSD students and more than 15,000 staff participated in the program daily, before it was suspended when the coronavirus case rate surged in early December.

Lisa Mosko, director of special education advocacy for the parents' group, Speak Up, says the partial reopening is a step in the right direction.

"I wish it had happened sooner, to be honest," Mosko said. "Many students with disabilities have attentional issues that make it hard for them to sit still long enough and just focus on a screen."

Learn more about the $2-billion proposal to reopen schools on "SoCal Update."
$2B School Reopening Plan; WeHo Streets | Feb. 19

Mosko also wants more details on the plan, like how parent feedback will be incorporated, and which schools will participate. Beutner said school principals will have information to offer over the course of the week.

As for a general reopening for elementary school students, Beutner says progress is underway. While Beutner had announced earlier this month that the district hoped to reopen within 60 days, he hadn't previously set a specific target date.

"We've done our part — the highest standards of health measures are in place at schools," Beutner said. "The community continues to do its part as the levels of the virus continue to decline."

The missing element is vaccines for teachers, Beutner said. The union that represents LAUSD teachers says its members won't return to the classroom without being vaccinated.

The L.A. County Public Health Department announced that educators will become eligible for shots starting in March, and Governor Gavin Newsom indicated that 10% of the state's supply will be earmarked for them. But Beutner and UTLA representatives have suggested that the timeline might not be fast enough, considering the shortage of doses.

"My goal of April 9th is still possible, but we need to start today, not tomorrow, not next week," Beutner said in his address. "We stand ready to work with state and local health authorities — get us the doses and we'll get it done."

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are also working towards a deal to guarantee vaccinations for educators and school staff who return to campus. The proposal, AB 86/SB86, is expected to be discussed in the legislature today.

That $6.5 million proposal is essentially a revised version of Gov. Gavin Newsom's "Safe Schools For All Plan," which was criticized by lawmakers and superintendents for asking too much of school districts too quickly.

Like that plan, this bill offers $2 billion to districts that reopen campuses to serve the highest needs students, including homeless, foster and disabled youth in counties under the less restrictive red-tier. Los Angeles County is still in the most-restrictive purple-tier. Districts would be expected to post reopening safety guidelines on their websites by April 1.

Unlike Newsom's proposal, this new bill has the support of UTLA, LAUSD and Long Beach Unified.

Support Provided By
Read More
A woman in a black t-shirt gets a vaccine administered on her right arm by a woman in dark blue scrubs.

Back For Seconds? Tens of Thousands in L.A. County Overdue for Second COVID Shot

Nearly 278,000 people in L.A. County may be overdue for their second dose, according to county figures released today.
Los Angeles Armenian Community Marks 106th Anniversary Of  Armenian Genocide

Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide; Hundreds Gather in Southland

Hundreds gathered to mark the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the mass killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during World War I, and to celebrate President Joe Biden's formal recognition of the atrocities as a genocide.
A close-up shot of a little girl holding an adult's hand.

First Group of Migrant Children Arrive at Long Beach Convention Center. Here's How You Can Help.

As many as 150 migrant children were expected to arrive at the Long Beach Convention Center Thursday. Here are ways you can help.