California's 2 biggest school districts plan to remain remote in the fall

California's 2 biggest school districts plan to remain remote in the fall
Los Angeles Unified Public School buses will stay parked this fall as students will continue to learn from home.David McNew/Getty Images
  • The Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts announced all of their students will continue learning remotely come August, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • The two school districts enroll a combined 825,000 students, and LA is the second-largest in the country. They are the largest school districts to eschew any kind of return to the classroom.
  • New York City, the country's largest school district with over 1 million students, plans to attempt a staggered, partial reopening.
  • The decision comes the same day as Gov. Gavin Newsom's directive to roll back much of the state's reopening.
  • In a July 13 statement, Austin Beutner, the superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District said: "There's a public health imperative to keep schools from becoming a petri dish."
  • Coronavirus cases in California are surging, and Beutner noted reopening schools could further escalate the outbreak. "A 10-year-old student might have a 30-year-old teacher, a 50-year-old bus driver, or live with a 70-year-old grandmother. All need to be protected."
  • An April New York Times report found that the spring's remote learning test run proved difficult in Los Angeles — resulting in the local teachers' union and school district agreeing on limited instruction averaging 4 hours per day, with video-based live teaching "encouraged, but not required," to ease the work load for teachers.
  • Last week, 83% of 18,000 United Teachers Los Angeles members polled said that schools should not reopen in any capacity in August, even despite previous remote learning struggles.
  • In a July 13 joint statement, the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts wrote: "The federal government must provide schools with the resources we need to reopen in a responsible manner."
  • Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to push for school reopenings across the country, while threatening to cut school funding. Some states, such as Florida, are mandating a return to the classroom in the fall for the sake of the economy.