LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Schools in Los Angeles will remain closed until May 1 in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday.
Los Angeles Unified School District schools were originally scheduled to remain closed through the end of March.
“I wish I could tell you it will all be back to normal sometime soon but it does not look like that will be the case,” Beutner wrote in a tweet.
Update on March 23rd.
Actualización del 23 de marzo. pic.twitter.com/zVwuqyrdeZ
— Austin Beutner (@AustinLASchools) March 23, 2020
The second-largest school district in the nation will now remain closed through May 1. Beutner said the district will provide additional updates well before May 1 on what comes next.
In the meantime, Beutner says the district will make a “significant effort” to continue to help all students learn.
“I’m particularly mindful of our graduating seniors, for whom this spring should be a culmination of what, for them, has been a lifetime of hard work and commitment. We’ll do our best to prepare them for the next chapter, and find a way to celebrate all they have accomplished,” Beutner said in a news conference Monday.
The district has launched an emergency investment of $100 million to help provide all students with the necessary devices and access to be able to continue their education online, he said. Buetner said the district has also reached an agreement with Verizon so all of LAUSD’s students will have access to the internet during the closure.
“This is an unprecedented commitment, but a necessary one,” Beutner said.
He said the district would continue to serve students meals every day during the closure.
Because of the ongoing closure, Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts sent a joint letter to lawmakers, asking for emergency state funding because they are facing the largest adaptive challenge for urban public education in a generation.
It’s not clear what prompted the district to extend the closure, but cases of coronavirus did spike Sunday, with 71 new cases bringing the Los Angeles County total to 409.
Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District also announced Monday it would remain closed through May. Last week, school officials in Ventura County said all its schools would remain closed until May 1, with a targeted return date of May 4, while Bonita Unified School District said it would return on May 5.