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A limited number of elementary schools will be able to apply for waivers to reopen transitional kindergarten through second-grade classrooms under a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decision Tuesday that gives priority to schools serving higher numbers of low-income families.

“As October approaches it’s critical that we begin the process of reopening our schools at limited capacity,” said Board Chair Kathryn Barger, who proposed the motion along with Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Los Angeles County officials, citing high local COVID-19 case rates, have held back on allowing elementary schools to apply for waivers to reopen, which are allowed under state guidelines. But some school leaders, particularly private school operators, have been urging the county to rethink its position.

This week, a coalition of private schools called on supervisors and public health officials to begin accepting waiver applications in which schools must demonstrate they have strict safety measures in place. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District had also urged the county to begin accepting the applications.

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