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coronavirus

Los Angeles teachers union says schools should remain closed

July 10, 2020
Teachers believe it is not safe to bring children back onto campuses in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leaders of the Los Angeles teachers union will call for campuses to remain closed and for distance learning to continue when the school year begins on Aug. 18.

The Los Angeles Times reports that union leaders have concluded it is not safe to bring children back onto campuses as Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles County surge to new highs.

The union plans to release a report suggesting parameters for reopening will be difficult to meet any time in the near future.

L.A. district leaders have yet to make a decision on reopening, but if it happens, the district would offer two options: a learning-from-home program, or a hybrid plan that would combine learning at home with part-time attendance on campus in small socially distanced classes.

Earlier in the week, L.A. County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer told school district leaders that they must prepare for the possibility that students would need to continue learning remotely 100% of the time at the start of the school year.

In a statement to be released Friday, union President Cecily Myart-Cruz acknowledged the shortcomings of distance learning, but said health considerations had to be given priority.

“Educators long to be back in our schools and classrooms. We know that distance learning creates real challenges, but science — not politics or the stock market — must determine when schools restart,” Myart-Cruz said. “We should be using this time to make distance learning better for all, including educators, parents and students.”

In criticizing the politicization of the health considerations, Myart-Cruz singled out President Trump, who has called for campuses to reopen and threatened to withhold funding from those that did not.

Given the surge of the virus in L.A. County, Myart-Cruz called Trump’s threats over funding “alarming.”

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