A clear majority of Los Angeles Board of Education members either favor or lean toward requiring eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as education officials across the state grapple with a measure that could help prevent school infections and keep classrooms open, but would probably ignite pushback.
School board President Kelly Gonez said that such a mandate would be a wise step to take “within a reasonable timeline.” Although the board could make a student vaccine mandate decision relatively soon, its effective date would depend on many factors, including allowing time for education efforts and outreach to families, she said.
Such a move would propel Los Angeles — once again — into the national spotlight for COVID safety measures that are among the most aggressive in the country. The nation’s second-largest school system has moved faster and more comprehensively than most others, testing all students and employees for infection every week, requiring masks indoors and outdoors and ordering employees to get vaccinated.
The district has won praise for creating a safer learning environment, but also faced criticism for rules that have led to disruptive quarantines, which have hindered efforts to make up for in-person learning time lost when campuses were closed for more than a year.
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