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LAUSD, Teachers Union Reach School Reopening Deal

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: IT Support Technician  Michael Hakopian (R) distributes computer devices to students at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. With over 734,000 enrolled students, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. With the advent of COVID-19, blended learning, or combined online and classroom learning, will become the norm for the coming school year. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
IT Support Technician Michael Hakopian distributes computer devices to students at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials have reached a long-awaited agreement with leaders of the district’s teachers’ union to resume on-campus instruction.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials have reached a long-awaited agreement with leaders of the district’s teachers’ union to resume on-campus instruction.

The deal with United Teachers Los Angeles was unveiled Tuesday evening.

One key condition for allowing students to return? The vaccination of staff. Under the deal, all school staff will have time to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine -- and wait the recommended two weeks to gain full immunity -- before students return.

Four of California’s five largest school districts have already announced plans to resume on-campus instruction -- including neighboring Long Beach Unified, as well as Fresno, Elk Grove and San Diego Unified (though the exact date of San Diego’s reopening may still be in flux).

UTLA leadership and members have said they would “resist” any move to return to campuses while L.A. County remains in the state’s most-restrictive purple tier, before a comprehensive safety agreement was in place, or before all staff were fully vaccinated.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner -- who himself has criticized hasty moves toward reopening -- has also called for the vaccination of staff as a precondition for opening schools.

Now, L.A. County’s exit from the purple tier is imminent. Yesterday, UTLA said the two sides were “close to a tentative agreement” on safety protocols.

Plus, Beutner recently announced that Gov. Gavin Newsom had secured some 25,000 COVID-19 vaccinations for LAUSD -- enough to vaccinate all staff in LAUSD elementary schools.

With files from LAist

We reached out to UTLA and LAUSD, but they were not available to comment at the time of this broadcast.

Guest:

Kyle Stokes, KPCC/LAist education reporter covering K-12 and the Los Angeles Unified School District; he tweets

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