The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education is set to consider a delay to shifting unvaccinated students aged 12 and older to online learning at the nation’s second-largest district.
As the current plan stands, L.A. Unified School District students who do not have proof of COVID-19 vaccination or an exemption will not be permitted on school campuses and will instead be referred to the independent study program beginning Jan. 10, 2022.
On Tuesday, the board is set to discuss potentially delaying that change until the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, the district announced Friday.
LAUSD officials said they were discussing the delay due to high vaccination rates among the district’s students.
More than 86% of L.A. Unified students aged 12 and older are in compliance with the current vaccine requirements, according to the district.
Yet, that still translates to about 34,000 students who have not yet complied with the vaccine mandate, the Los Angeles Times reported this week.
“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “Los Angeles Unified applauds the 86.52 percent of students aged 12 and older and their families who are in compliance with the vaccine mandate, and the many other families who are still in the process of adding their vaccine records to the system.”
LAUSD’s announcement Friday comes amid repeated protests from parents.
Opponents of the vaccine mandate demonstrated in front of an L.A. courthouse this week, as a judge denied a request by two parent groups for a preliminary injunction against the L.A. Unified’s student vaccine mandates, the Times reported.
Besides mandating vaccinations, LAUSD has had other measures in place to limit the spread of the virus on campuses.
L.A. Unified is requiring weekly coronavirus testing of all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, through January.
Then starting in February, only students without proof of vaccination will be required to get tested regularly.
Statewide, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has previously announced a first-in-the-nation mandate that will require all eligible students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to school in person once vaccines get full federal approval.
The mandate is set to be phased in by grade span across California.