March 16, 2020News
Following new national, state, and local guidelines for containing the COVID-19 virus, LAUSD will not be opening the 40 Family Resource Centers. However, there will be 60 grab-and-go food distribution centers that will be open from 7 am to 10 am, starting on Wednesday. Volunteers will work from 6 am to 11 am and will receive a $100 stipend every day, in addition to their regular pay. Keeping workers and families safe is a top priority for the distribution centers, and specific safety protocols and social distancing measures will be in place. If you signed up to staff a resource center, you are considered as signing up for a food distribution center. We expect that LAUSD will be in contact with you. No more volunteers are needed at this time.
Public educators step up for our students
In an amazing sign of the power of the public education community, 4,500 people volunteered to staff the Resource Centers. Thank you to all the nurses, classroom teachers, counselors, teacher librarians, psychiatric social workers, PSA counselors, early childhood educators, adult educators, special ed teachers, substitutes, and more who answered the call to staff the centers. LAUSD is not able to open the centers at this time, but we honor the original intent: to serve our most vulnerable populations, including homeless students, the children of low-wage workers who fear being fired, the children of first-responders, foster children, and more. This crisis has laid bare that our society lacks essential safety nets, and we must emerge from this defining moment as a more humane society.
Repeat of last night's info: UTLA members not to report to school sites
As we said in last night's email, UTLA members are not expected to report to school or other district worksites during this two-week closure. This applies to all categories of UTLA members, school-based or not — including health and human services professionals and early childhood educators. Members are expected to support the continuity of learning remotely — not at school sites. This closure is scheduled for two weeks but we know it may very well go beyond that.
Working hard on substitute issues
We are working with the district every day on issues impacting our substitute teachers. LAUSD has already agreed to continue extended day-to-day assignments for the purpose of pay and to honor scheduled assignments. We continue to advocate to lower the threshold to qualify for healthcare and continuity rate increases, and our legal team is working on how to push for unemployment benefits. We are pressing for a guaranteed basic income for all substitute teachers — an unprecedented idea but one we think we have a shot at. We know substitute teachers have pressing concerns, and we are committed every single day to making progress. Click here for the sub FAQ page that will be updated as we get info.
Everyone, stay safe as we navigate through the next days and weeks. We continue to update our website regularly and will send emails as more information emerges.