LAUSD responds to city councilman’s push to reopen schools

The President of the LAUSD Board of Education (BOE) says, "I think it’s a clear political action motivated by politics."

LA Unified School Board President Kelly Gonez IS taking aim at Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Busciano. She, Superintendent Austin Beutner and the district leadership think his threat to use the courts to open schools is politically motivated.

The councilman says, "This is no political stunt here... If the experts, 1500 pediatricians, Dr. Fauci, the CDC Director are saying that it is safe to reopen schools then why aren’t we reopening schools today?"

In their statement, LAUSD says that "The problem is COVID levels in the Los Angeles area have not, for a single day since March met the state standards for the reopening of schools. We cannot break state law to reopen schools."

The Public Health Department says LA County’s numbers are still too high, but they are on dropping and getting close to a threshold that could allow for reopening. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said it could drop sufficiently in the next two weeks.

Gonez says, "That’s encouraging if that is the case. Obviously, that’s dependent on lower community spread and COVID rates continuing to go down."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: LA City Councilman to introduce motion to consider legal options to reopen schools

Jenny Hontz is with She says, "The district is correct that in Los Angeles, COVID rates have not fallen low enough for a full reopening of schools, but they are able to open for a small number of kids right now and they’re not doing that."

Hontz says she wants her child in school but, only when the science says it’s safe to do so. She thinks it’s safe enough now for small groups of students and is frustrated that LA schools are not opening up yet.

San Francisco just went through the same kind of situation with a lawsuit against their school district.... as for ours in LA, Gonez says, "I think we’re going to redouble our efforts as we look for a hybrid reopening to make sure everyone feels safe." 

"Could that be in the next couple of weeks?" asked FOX 11's Hal Eisner.

"Hal, I can’t predict the future... I hope so. If the declines. continue and as I sad there is a real effort to get our school staff vaccinated I think we could be back in a month or so," Gonez responded.

As for Buscaino’s threats, at the very least he says, "I’m hopeful that maybe this can leverage all parties to come to the table...and get our students back to the classrooms."

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