Amidst Threats from the Department of Education, California Schools Go Online For Fall

The morning of July 13, 2020, Los Angeles Unified School District along with San Diego Unified School District put out a joint press release advising that their schools will be starting online in the fall.  Neither district will be going back to full operation in August 2020. Instead, both districts will utilize online instruction as opposed to in-person classrooms.

This decision comes amidst a threat (or extortion) from the President of the United States and Secretary of Education that schools will lose funding should they decide not to reopen in full capacity for the fall session. Meanwhile in Orange County, the decision has been made to open all schools without question or guidelines. Schools are not even mandating masks or any other safety precautions/procedures to guard against the spread of COVID-19. A board meeting later this evening may change that if parents SPEAK UP!! 

Over the weekend, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVille, excuse me DeVos, stated she had no plan or guidelines in place to give guidance to schools, just that all kids should go to school and that only 0.2% of kids would die…so, no biggie!  Deville also stated that she would direct the Department of Education to withhold funds from districts that do not open their school.  It’s appalling and offensive to watch the SE play Russian roulette with our children.  

Prior to LAUSD and SDUSD deciding online courses would be the mode of instruction for their students, the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) decided on June 30, 2020 that they would open up in the fall with online instruction.  Most districts are operating under the assumption that COVID-19 will continue to be problematic, as numbers continue to rise. The logistics of housing students in schools and classrooms is too high of a risk for all involved.  

In our opinion, it is completely reckless to open up our schools! The President is once again showing us who he is.  He does not care about children in cages and he does not care about your child or grandchild.  By this administration’s own words and calculations, opening schools will only affect a very small amount of EXPENDABLE children.  According to the Department of Education, most experts believe there is a death rate of 0.2% minimum possible from reopening classrooms, which would be equivalent to over 14,000 students. Which they believe is not that big of a deal. Unless of course, it’s your child!  It’s basically a game of Russian roulette with your children to see who will and won’t get infected. FYI – that’s only the numbers of children and students that could be infected and die, that’s not even counting the number of teachers (many of whom are near retirement) who could very easily get infected and end up very ill or dead.

Most teachers do not want to return back to classroom instruction (83% of LAUSD teachers) until it is safe, and they don’t mind doing the online instruction – but only for 4 hours! However, the UTLA doesn’t disappoint with its outrageous demands and hypocritical positions. On their website they posted the following condemnation of the president and his demands for schools:

UTLA Responds to Trump’s Threat to Prematurely Reopen Schools “Trump’s attempt to force schools to reopen in order to force people back to work during an accelerating pandemic means disproportionately risking the lives of Black and Brown students and their families, who are more likely to have ‘essential’ jobs, insufficient health care, higher levels of preexisting health conditions, and to live in crowded housing,” said UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz.

But then, they did not stop short of threatening LAUSD by stating they would strike and not go back to the classroom unless all charter schools are shut down!  Wait! What? What are you even talking about? They had literally condemned the President’s language 2 seconds sooner!  As per the usual, they are trying to take advantage of the pandemic and use it as a bargaining chip, which has absolutely nothing to do with educating our kids.  

After LAUSD announced it will open with online instruction, several other districts have announced they will be doing the same.  This is a sound decision.

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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