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Citing the coronavirus emergency, the L.A. teachers union on Thursday called for a moratorium on new charter school approvals and a halt to new campus-sharing arrangements with charters.

United Teachers Los Angeles has long wanted to slow or stop the growth of these privately operated public schools, but cast its current opposition in terms of the ongoing health crisis of the COVID-`19 outbreak.

Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl, in a letter sent to Los Angeles schools Supt. Austin Beutner on Thursday, said it would be unfair to approve new charter schools without an opportunity for board members to hear from community members. Currently members of the public are unable to gather and it could be difficult for them to participate in scheduled board meetings, which probably would take place by video or audio-conferencing.

All district campuses have been closed since March 13 and are will not open until at least May 1. Typically the seven-member school board meets at least twice a month at district headquarters just west of downtown. It it not known when the board will resume its regular meetings. It was not clear Thursday night how many charter schools, if any, would have been scheduled for possible board approval in the next several months.

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