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Five days after the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it was shutting down all campuses for limited in-person instruction, two children’s advocacy groups have asked the state’s highest court to require the system to partially reopen to serve its youngest students and those with special learning needs, according to court documents filed Friday.

In a petition filed with the California Supreme Court, the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Learning Rights Law Center allege that L.A. Unified violated a state law that requires education agencies to offer in-person instruction “to the greatest extent possible.”

LAUSD had offered limited in-person tutoring and assessment for students with disabilities, reaching less than 1% of 465,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. And then on Monday Supt. Austin Beutner announced a hard shutdown of all campuses amid the unprecedented spike in cases.

“We have an imperative to get kids back to school as soon as possible the safest way possible,” Beutner said Monday, adding that “extraordinary and quite dangerous” infection rates were too high to allow for students and teachers to interact on campus, even with extensive safety protocols in place.

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