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Beutner: Governor Promises LAUSD 25,000 Vaccines -- Enough For All Elementary Employees

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L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Governor Gavin Newsom is setting aside 25,000 COVID-19 vaccines over the next two weeks for Los Angeles Unified school employees, according to the district’s superintendent, Austin Beutner.

The announcement comes one week after Beutner said that in order to “reopen preschool and elementary school classrooms,” LAUSD would need to vaccinate the 25,000 district employees who work in those schools.

“This is a game-changer,” Beutner said in his weekly video address today, thanking Newsom for “putting equity first”:

“This plan will allow us to complete — during the next two weeks — vaccinations for school staff who are already working at school sites, staff who are working with our youngest learners and those working with students with learning differences and disabilities.”

LAUSD is still negotiating with the district’s teachers union over reopening campuses.
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United Teachers Los Angeles leaders have made vaccines for all school staff a key condition for reopening schools.

But UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz has said that vaccines alone won’t be enough to reopen schools.

“We are moving in the right direction, but we are not there yet, folks,” said Myart-Cruz during a Facebook Live update last week. “We know our infection rates in many of our neighborhoods are still very high.”

Union leaders want the district to wait to reopen until L.A. County has exited the “purple” tier of the state’s monitoring system, which indicates widespread transmission of the virus. They’re also currently negotiating with LAUSD over the cleaning regimens and safety protocols that would be used once campuses reopen.

For now, in-person services for a small number of LAUSD students with special needs and for child care and althetic condition are set to begin later this week.

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Beutner also announced that LAUSD’s in-house vaccination program is now open for appointments to all district employees who meet current eligibility guidelines. Employees can get shots at three school sites and at Hollywood Park in Inglewood.

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