The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has announced that remote learning will continue in August, as the state re-shuts down amid rising coronavirus cases.
LAUSD superintendent, Austin Beutner, sent a letter out to parents in the city on Monday confirming that classes will resume online next month.
“We made the decision to close school facilities before there was any occurrence of the virus at our schools, and this proved to be the right call,” Mr Beutner said.
“Science was our guide then, and it will continue to be. Unfortunately, Covid-19 continues to spread in the Los Angeles area and the virus is going to impact how we start the new school year.”
The district is the second largest school system in the country, and it announced its decision alongside the states’s second biggest system, the San Diego Unified School District (SAUSD), who also decided to continue with online learning next month.
The school year will start remotely on 18 August in Los Angeles and on 31 August in San Diego, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The decision now means that the two biggest school districts in California have decided to continue home learning in the next school year, amid rising Covid-19 cases across the US.
California has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the last month, and Los Angeles has seen a significant spike, with more than 3,202 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday and at least 14 deaths.
On Monday, California governor Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of indoor operations, including restaurants, in order to stop the spread of Covid-19, as the state has seen record daily coronavirus totals over the last few weeks.
“This virus is not going away anytime soon. I hope all of us recognise that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow, when it gets warm, it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off, this virus has done neither,” he told reporters.
Union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), voted overwhelmingly to continue online learning for the next school year on Sunday, and 83 per cent of the organisation’s more than 18,000 members voted against physically reopening schools.
UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz told Fox 11 that “It is hitting us hard to think we may not be back with our students in the fal”.
She added: “We know this is hard on our students and their parents, so many of whom have stepped up as our partners in teaching while struggling with the economic fallout of this crisis. But safety must come first, along with a commitment to focus on strengthening distance learning.”
In a joint statement, the LAUSD and the SAUSD said that they would not not put children at risk, while infection rates were still rising.
“One fact is clear: those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available,” the districts said.
“California has neither. The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.”
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