LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that students will not return to the classroom when the fall semester begins next month because of the surge in coronavirus cases across the Southland.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said that the fall semester will begin Aug. 18. However, student learning will begin online only, with no students returning to in-person classes.

Along with LAUSD, the San Diego Unified School District will also begin its fall semester in a virtual format. The two districts released a joint statement confirming the move.

“Both districts will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow,” the statement read.

Beutner did not provide an estimate regarding when in-person classes might resume.

“The right way to reopen schools is to make sure there’s a robust system of testing and contact tracing to mitigate the risk for all in the school community,” Beutner said in a video address Monday.

All this comes after United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the union which represents LAUSD teachers, announced Saturday that of 18,000 members who took part in a poll, 83% voted against physically reopening schools to students. The union applauded LAUSD’s announcement the correct move in light of the circumstances.

“It was the right thing to close school campuses then, and it’s the right thing to keep them closed now,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement. “In the face of the alarming spike in COVID cases, the lack of necessary funding from the government to open schools safely, and the outsized threat of death faced by working class communities of color, there really is no other choice that doesn’t put thousands of lives at risk.

Schools statewide began operating remotely in mid-March, with students using programs such as Zoom and Google Classroom to connect with their teachers and complete their course work to finish out the 2019-20 academic year. LAUSD itself closed campuses on March 16.

LAUSD — the second largest district in the nation — serves more than 600,000 students at more than 1,000 schools. It employs about 75,000 people.

Several nearby districts appear to be leaning towards offering students a choice. Santa Ana Unified in Orange County approved a plan under which students could decide whether to learn solely online or under a hybrid model in which they would be in the classroom a few days a week and meet online the rest of the time. Under the hybrid model, no more than 15 students would be in class at a time.

Las Virgenes Unified – which serves parts of Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Ventura County – announced a similar plan.

Last week, President Donald Trump pressured states to reopen schools this fall despite the spike in coronavirus cases both in Southern California and nationwide. Through Sunday, L.A. County has reported 133,549 cases and 3,322 deaths from the disease.

UTLA has released a research paper which details what guidelines it believes must be met before students can safely return to class. It also said the district needs more state and federal funding to be able to effectively meet those guidelines.

Comments (42)
  1. Example Required says:

    I support Trump! Open the schools and close the borders! Raise the alarm and lower the taxes! Sleepy Joe and the liberal Social Democrats are out to get us!

    1. lia says:

      So what are the working parents supposed to do? Stop working to be able to home school our children?

    2. Kalifornia Uber Alles says:

      I agree with you 100%.

    3. Kalifornia Uber Alles says:

      Infection rate very low amongst children but doctors see an uptick in depression and suicides.

  2. So, they must have learned that online indoctrination works just as well as direct indoctrination, while leaving the indoctrinators at less risk of being assaulted by the rabid animals they are creating.

  3. David Valdez says:

    FU Trump you bigoted A-hole.

  4. Fidel007 says:

    Maybe the city should start by cleaning the streets and not allow the homeless encampments to defecate in the streets and dump garbage, along with no social distancing and no mask wearing. LA is an open sewer

  5. Samantha says:

    As if LAUSD children aren’t all ready behind the curve. These poor kids have already been through enough. Open schools, and if teachers are too afraid of the virus–put in teachers who aren’t. When are we going to get on with our lives? We cannot continue to be paralyzed by a virus with over a 97% survival rate. Did people forget there are also other germs, viruses, and hazards of existing? Stop living in fear. Push back on our cowardly leaders for the sake of our children!

    1. Perry says:

      Terrible news and it’s all political to hurt Trump. They could limit class sizes and have at least partial classroom experience in alternate days. Online learning won’t work for early grades especially preschoolers.

  6. MATTHEW JACOBS says:

    Well…I live in California and am devastated at the news about the schools…IMO…the only good thing coming out of this mess…is it gives us voters the opportunity to see the quality of decisions those asking for my Vote make…
    Is it a Good Day…when Education is up for discussion

  7. See this on Drudge? For real conservative California news check out http://www.PressCalifornia.com

  8. EEMan 1 says:

    I thought this was based on science and not politics? The “science” suggests that children are far less likely to die from COVID, in fact they are MORE likely to die from the ordinary flu than to die from COVID. They are also very resistant to even becoming carriers of COVID which is why Trump is calling for in-class-room instruction. And no masks!

  9. A J says:

    Good call… This not getting better are kids not pawns! Betsy DeVoss- remember her name along with Trump, Cruz, McConnell and the rest. Complicit in the attempted murder of our children. Our future. Those WILL be the headlines if they aren’t stopped….

    1. Sandita says:

      What part of kids don’t die from this did you not get? You have been manipulated.

      1. Sleepy Joe says:

        Exactly.

  10. Sleepy Joe says:

    A majority of parents want their kids back in school full time and a majority of school staff have got used to being at home and they will make every excuse not to go back even though the chances of children infecting adults is low.

  11. Children under the age of 18 at at virtually NO risk of dying. Shutting down schools is insane.

  12. It’s not about the children. It’s about the Teachers and their Union. How are the 45 percent without online school capability going to get that education?
    It’s all about the powerful union and their liberal ways.

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