Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new plan to vaccinate school staff more quickly does little to move campuses toward reopening in Los Angeles, where the teachers union remains opposed until community infection rates drop further and vaccines take full effect for returning workers — calling into question whether a robust return to in-person instruction is possible before the end of the school year.
The union’s posture — similar to that of school employee unions in San Francisco and of the California Teachers Assn. — comes as union leaders in the nation’s second-largest school district continue protracted negotiations with officials over what a return to school will look like and as parents in diverse areas of the city express passionate and opposing views over reopening.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz said the union is holding firm to protect the health of students and their families as well as its members, who include teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses.
“Now more than ever we are feeling the pressure to return to physical schools before we have the necessary conditions and measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone. And the pressure is coming from all sides,” Myart-Cruz said in a Friday broadcast to members and the public. “Local and state officials did not help create the right conditions to reopen schools for in-person instruction and educators are being targeted for trying to protect our students and our communities.”
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