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In Most LA County School Districts, Masks Are Now Optional

A principal reaches toward a child who's seated at a desk wearing a facemask that's not currently covering his nose.
FILE - Principal Juana Cortez adjusting a student’s mask at L.A. Unified's Montara Avenue Elementary School on Aug. 16, 2021.
(Al Kamalizad
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State and county-wide mask requirements for K-12 schools and child care centers expired over the weekend.

KPCC/LAist reviewed the most recent COVID-19 guidance from 62 of Los Angeles County’s 80 school districts. A majority of the county's school systems — a total of 56 districts which enroll at least 650,000 students — have already followed the lead of state and county officials to “strongly recommend,” but not require, masks on campus.

This includes Long Beach Unified, which is L.A. County’s second-largest and the state’s fourth-largest school district.

There are about 1.4 million students enrolled in L.A. County schools in total.

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Because of a labor agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles, the L.A. Unified School District is now one of only a handful of L.A. County districts that continues to require masks. LAUSD will meet with its teachers union on Wednesday to discuss the future of the district’s indoor mask mandate.

We identified six districts that continue to require mask use indoors:

The El Monte Union High School District will keep its mask requirement until April 1, then reassess the policy monthly, said superintendent Edward Zuniga.

Culver City students will have the option to go maskless indoors starting on April 18, according to a letter from superintendent Quoc Tran.

What questions do you have about K-12 education in Southern California?
Kyle Stokes reports on the public education system — and the societal forces, parental choices and political decisions that determine which students get access to a “good” school (and how we define a “good school”).