March 13, 2020Press Release
Friday, March 13, 2020 (9:30am)
This morning LAUSD announced plans to close all schools in LA Unified as of Monday, March 16, for two weeks. This is the right proactive step to slow the spread of the virus, make sure our hospitals are not overwhelmed, and dramatically reduce fatalities.
It is confirmed that all school staff will be paid for the entire two-week closure. LAUSD has plans to open 40 family resource centers throughout the school district starting on Wednesday. These centers will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays to provide food and resources for students whose families want the district to continue to care for their children. We are tracking how the online instructional protocols are being implemented.
When schools reopen, we are calling for a three-day deep-clean before staff and students return. We are also calling for an immediate transition to educator-led instruction from online learning when schools reopen and for schools and families not to be penalized for low attendance in the days leading up to the closure. We are hearing from our members about a number of issues and we are working on an updated FAQ to send as soon as possible.
LAUSD's action follows UTLA's call last night to close schools and to implement 10 Common Good Community Demands to support families and our most vulnerable students. The state has a $20 billion reserve and this is the time to tap into that reserve. Federal and state government should pressure employers to not fire any employees for missing work or because of the economic hit — many of these workers are the parents of our students. We call on the city, county, and state to create a healthy, socio-economic safety net for our communities, including these demands:
- Outline clear health and safety protocols for the home.
- Provide 15 additional paid sick days a year to all workers in Los Angeles County, to align with quarantine period for COVID-19; additional paid time off for those who do not have sick days with their employers.
- Provide a weekly disaster stipend for working parents to stay home with their children without losing pay.
- Remove all economic barriers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, including eliminating all insurance co-payments and deductibles.
- Create a network of food and supply distribution centers.
- Free and reliable broadband internet access and access to electronic devices for students while at home.
- Debt forgiveness, suspended rent and mortgage payments, suspended eviction court and utility shut-offs.
- No penalizing schools based on attendance or missed standardized assessments.
- Provide safe shelter, healthcare services and support for all, including students, who are suffering from homelessness.
- Provide additional support and protection for our students with disabilities, especially our medically fragile students.