Los Angeles school board to vote on union COVID demands, includes masks, testing regardless of vaccine status

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Los Angeles school board members are expected to vote Tuesday on an agreement approved by the teacher’s union on COVID-19 safety protocols for the re-opening of schools in the fall that include the wearing of masks regardless of vaccination status. 

Earlier in June, members of the United Teachers Los Angeles overwhelmingly endorsed an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District to institute the protections with 94% of members, or 11,485, favoring the measures for the physical return for the 2021-22 school year. 

“With the approval of this agreement, schools across Los Angeles will have critical COVID safety protocols in place when we welcome students back to the joys of full-time in-person learning,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said at the time, according to a news release the union provided to Fox News. 

In-person instruction began for returning students at Hollywood High School on April 27 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Unified School District middle and high schools have reopened this week for in-person instruction. School board members will vote Tuesday on an agreement listing COVID-19 protocols approved by the teachers union. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

In-person instruction began for returning students at Hollywood High School on April 27 in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Unified School District middle and high schools have reopened this week for in-person instruction. School board members will vote Tuesday on an agreement listing COVID-19 protocols approved by the teachers union. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“The pandemic has challenged students, families, and educators in ways unimaginable, but it has also triggered innovation and taught us lasting lessons about the power of public education to heal,” the statement continued. “Educators are committed to meeting our students where they are and creating the healthy, healing, equitable schools that our students and their families deserve.”

Under the agreement, many of the COVID-19 safety measures already in place will stay as the nation’s second-largest school district attempts to resume normal operations. The district will conduct COVID-19 testing every two weeks while in the yellow tier, students and staff will be screened for symptoms prior to entering school sites, the use of MERV 13 filters on ventilation systems will continue and masks will be required. 

The union – the bargaining unit for LAUSD faculty — said the protocols have proven to keep students, their families and staffers safe.

“LA Unified has the lowest number of COVID infections among the nation’s largest school districts because of the safety protocols that educators, parents, and community members have fought for and won.”

The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. 

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Students will have the option to keep learning from home. Elementary school students enrolled in virtual learning will have three hours of daily live instruction. Middles and high school students will have three 70-minute periods every school day, with at least 40 minutes of live instruction per period. 

If approved, the agreement would take effect Wednesday and run through June 30, 2022. 

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