Los Angeles School Officials Call Threat To Sue District To Reopen Campuses A ‘Political Stunt’
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Empty Hollywood High hallway on September 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. LAUSD school campuses remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, however many teachers are opting to broadcast lessons virtually from their empty classrooms.
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

A Los Angeles Democrat said he would soon introduce a motion asking the city to sue the nation’s second-largest public school district to restore in-person learning, but the school board responded with a statement on Friday calling his threat a political stunt.

According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino “said he plans to submit a resolution next week, for consideration by the full council, that would direct the city attorney to file a lawsuit modeled on one announced this week by San Francisco officials, who have initiated litigation against the San Francisco Unified School District.” As The Daily Wire recently reported, that suit accuses the district of violating California law by failing to have concrete reopening plans in place.

“I’m hopeful to take a page out of San Francisco’s playbook,” Buscaino said on Thursday.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves more than 600,000 K-12 students, and its boundaries cover 720 square miles. However, almost every student enrolled has been taking classes online since March in an attempt to help contain coronavirus transmission.

Buscaino, whose wife, Geralyn, is an LAUSD teacher, said he felt “obligated to take a stand on opening our schools.” According to the Times, Buscaino is “also unhappy with his own experience at home, noting that he has a child who is struggling with having to learn math online.”

His proposal has been met with pushback from the school board, the teachers union, and other public education officials.

“Political stunts will not reopen schools in the Los Angeles area,” read a joint statement from L.A. Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner and members of the Board of Education. “The problem is COVID levels in the Los Angeles area have not for a single day since March met the state standards for the reopening of schools. We cannot break state law to reopen schools.”

“If Mr. Buscaino had called any of us asking how the City of Los Angeles might help schools, we would have suggested they redouble their efforts to reduce the level of the virus and make sure teachers and all who work at schools get immediate access to vaccines.”

Buscaino’s announcement came the day after new CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters, “Vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools.” As the Times points out, the Biden administration and Gov. Gavin Newsom also “spoke of the importance for schools to swiftly and safely reopen” earlier this week. Still, the head of the teachers union has said members need to be inoculated before returning to school buildings.

L.A. Unified Superintendent Beutner also issued a separate individual statement on Friday accusing “the City of Los Angeles” of “scapegoating schools” for politicians’ failures at every level.

“Grandstanding political stunts like this are precisely why schools in Los Angeles remain closed,” Beutner said. “Elected leaders from Sacramento to Los Angeles City Hall need to put deeds behind their words and take the steps necessary to actually put schools and the children they serve first.”

“San Francisco authorities worked together and brought the rate of infection under control and the area has for some time met the state standard for school reopening, but Los Angeles is a national example of how governmental dysfunction has allowed the virus to rampage out of control.”

Related: ‘Enough Is Enough’: San Francisco Sues Its Own School District Over Re-Opening Plan

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Los Angeles School Officials Call Threat To Sue District To Reopen Campuses A ‘Political Stunt’