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LA Teachers Union Pushes Back On Proposed April 9 Reopening

College banners hang above the offices of school staff. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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The union that represents 33,000 L.A.-based teachers and school staff is pushing back against the L.A. Unified School District’s attempt to reopen schools on April 9.

On Friday, Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of the United Teachers of L.A., said safety needs to come first.

“We will reject any fixed date that ignores the elements of a safe return,” she said.

The union said that three conditions must be met before school staff will return to the classroom:

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  1. The county moving into a safer tier
  2. Staff either being fully vaccinated or have had access to vaccination
  3. Proper social distancing, ventilation and other safety conditions being in place

Austin Beutner, LAUSD’s superintendent, has said earlier that the district won’t reopen until similar conditions are met.
In a weekly address on Feb. 8, he laid out those conditions: The vaccination of 25,000 non-union personnel, including principals, teachers, bus drivers, custodians and librarians; reducing the level of COVID-19 in L.A. to meet state requirements; and implementing health protocols and practices at schools as non-negotiable prerequisites for inviting students back to campus.

Beutner has faced pressure from parents and local officials to reopen for in-person learning, including a threat from L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino to sue the district in order to force a reopening.

Beutner has maintained that L.A. has not yet met the criteria for a safe return to classrooms.

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