Teachers’ Union Calls on LAUSD to Close Schools Due to Coronavirus

United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing teachers for the Los Angeles Unified School District, called on Superintendent Austin Beutner Thursday to proactively shut down schools due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe the only way to address this looming health crisis and to protect our students, families and communities is to have an accelerated timeframe for the school district to close by Monday,” UTLA said in a statement.

The union also called on the “city, county and state to create a healthy, socio-economic safety net for our students, working families and communities” with a list of demands.

Included in the list, the union demanded “No penalizing schools based on attendance or missed standardized assessments” and “free and reliable broadband internet access and access to electronic devices for students while at home.”

Along with calling for increasing testing capacity for the virus, debt forgiveness and suspending rent and mortgage payments, the union also demanded a “weekly disaster stipend for working parents to stay home with their children without losing pay.”

“As the fifth largest economy in the world, and with a total reserve of almost $20 billion, California can afford to do the right thing and support our families,” the union said in the statement.