looms

private Zoom tutors spark controversy as virtual school year looms

<span>Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Elyssa Katz, a Santa Monica mother of three, is growing a matchmaking service to connect families with tutors, or “Zutors”, as she calls them – a word she’s in the process of trademarking.

“The role of a Zutor is a tutor, a nanny, and an angel for a parent,” Katz told the Guardian, someone who can take over parental demands, help children with online homework and take them outside when it’s time for “recess”.

Katz’s clients range from the rich and famous, to everyday people who need childcare because they can’t look after their children while they have to work. Katz said she had gotten calls from parents as far away as the Hamptons.

For a matchmaking fee that can range from $700 to $1,000 (£549 to £785), Katz and her team will interview tutor candidates, run background and reference checks, then match them to the

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desperate parents seek private help as virtual school year looms

<span>Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Elyssa Katz, a Santa Monica mother of three, is growing a matchmaking service to connect families with tutors, or “Zutors”, as she calls them – a word she’s in the process of trademarking.

“The role of a Zutor is a tutor, a nanny, and an angel for a parent,” Katz told the Guardian, someone who can take over parental demands, help children with online homework and take them outside when it’s time for “recess”.

Katz’s clients range from the rich and famous, to everyday people who need childcare because they can’t look after their children while they have to work. Katz said she had gotten calls from parents as far away as the Hamptons.

For a matchmaking fee that can range from $700 to $1,000 (£549 to £785), Katz and her team will interview tutor candidates, run background and reference checks, then match them to the

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‘Big Mess’ Looms if Schools Don’t Get Billions to Reopen Safely

An empty classroom at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., where the district plans to spend $200,000 on desk partitions, July 7, 2020. (Audra Melton/The New York Times)
An empty classroom at Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga., where the district plans to spend $200,000 on desk partitions, July 7, 2020. (Audra Melton/The New York Times)

Bus monitors to screen students for symptoms in Marietta, Georgia: $640,000. Protective gear and classroom cleaning equipment for a small district in rural Michigan: $100,000. Disinfecting school buildings and hiring extra nurses and educators in San Diego: $90 million.

As the White House, the nation’s pediatricians and many worn-down, economically strapped parents push for school doors to swing open this fall, local education officials say they are being crushed by the costs of getting students and teachers back in classrooms safely.

President Donald Trump threatened this week to cut off federal funding to districts that do not reopen, though he controls only a sliver of money for schools. But administrators say they are already struggling to cover the head-spinning logistical and financial

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Teachers weigh risks as COVID-19 looms

Christy Karwatt teaches social studies, but she’s been thinking more like a math teacher the last few days.

At 61, the Sarasota High teacher is entering her 27th year in Florida’s retirement system, and she loves her job. She had planned on teaching three more years to maximize her retirement payment. 

But as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the state and the country, officials are pouring on pressure to reopen schools full time this fall.

On Monday, Florida’s education commissioner ordered the state’s schools to open full-time in August. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday criticized plans to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reworking its guidance on reopening schools after President Donald Trump thought the guidelines were too tough. 

Early guidance from health experts: Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing

In the

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