LAUSD announced Monday that when the school year resumes Aug. 18, all teaching will be remote and physical school sites will remain closed. The district’s decision comes after the clear message educators sent on Friday – with 83 percent of the 18,000 members responding to an informal online poll expressing that LAUSD should not physically reopen schools and to refocus on distance learning.

“In March, UTLA called on LAUSD officials to close schools in light of the growing urgency of the COVID health crisis, and they closed them,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “It was the right thing to close school campuses then, and it’s the right thing to keep them closed now. In the face of the alarming spike in COVID cases, the lack of necessary funding from the government to open schools safely, and the outsized threat of death faced by working class communities of color, there really is no other choice that doesn’t put thousands of lives at risk.”

In this time of crisis, Myart-Cruz said, educators must continue to lead with parents, students and the community.

“We must continue to take bold action together to build well-funded schools with the necessary conditions to protect everyone’s health; robust student supports, including increased mental health and academic services; and resources for hard-hit communities so they can survive this crisis, such as income replacement and rent and mortgage forgiveness,” Myart-Cruz said.