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    As a parent in South Los Angeles, Prentis Hill has no doubt where he stands in the debate over school police and whether to eliminate them. He wants more security in schools — citing an incident of a student allegedly bringing a gun onto his son’s middle school campus last year. Maria Agueda, the parent of a student at the Bernstein High School campus in Hollywood, would go even further. In the wake of a 15-year-old student’s overdose death in September, she said she supports police bringing in canines and conducting random drug searches. Their demands, however, run counter to those of high school activists and labor, legal and community organizations pushing to eliminate school police and redirect those resources to drug awareness, student mental-health support and Black student achievement programs — a goal that they fear is being overtaken by concerns over crime. They saw partial success in 2020 when the Board of Education cut the school police budget by a third and took away the police officer stationed at every high school. Though there’s broad...
    An athletic trainer has been charged with sexually assaulting at least 10 girls at two Los Angeles high schools since 2017, authorities said Tuesday. Richard Alexander Turner, 64, was charged with more than 15 felonies, including forcible rape, sexual penetration by force and sexual assault of an unconscious person, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said during a news conference. Turner, who has served as an athletic trainer at Van Nuys High School and Birmingham Community Charter High School, was arrested last week on suspicion of sexual assault after a Birmingham student accused him of touching her inappropriately on Sept. 20, according to Los Angeles Police Dept. Capt. Jeff Bratcher, who leads the agency’s juvenile division. Police released Turner’s name to the public and asked additional victims to come forward. In less than a week, nine other students contacted police and accused Turner of abuse that stretched back five years, Bratcher said. All of the victims ranged in age from 15 to 17, according to Gascón, who said some of the assaults happened outside of school but...
    Nine days after a teenage student died of an apparent overdose from a fentanyl-laced pill, Los Angeles Unified School District officials announced plans to combat the national opioid epidemic, including distributing naloxone nasal sprays – used to reverse an opioid overdose in an emergency – to schools over the coming weeks. Naloxone, which often goes by the brand name Narcan, will be provided by the county’s Department of Public Health at no cost to the district, which has also received support from The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, officials said on Thursday, Sept. 22. There are currently enough doses for the district’s high schools, which will receive the medication over the next two weeks, officials said. Additional doses will be distributed to middle and elementary campuses as they become available. L.A. Unified has approximately 1,400 schools. Nurses and other health care providers on campuses have been or will be trained to administer naloxone, with training to begin next month. Los Angeles Unified School District School Board member Monica Garcia speaks during...
    (CNN)Shanika Whiten has devoted over two decades to working for the Los Angeles Unified School District. But recent soaring inflation, combined with the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, have put the 42-year-old special education assistant -- and countless teachers and school staff across the US -- under immense pressure as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Whiten is among the lucky ones who have received help to secure affordable housing, but she feels for those who are not so fortunate.First day of school in Seattle delayed as educators go on strike"It's sad to live the way we are because of inflation," said Whiten. "And everything is going up except your paycheck. Your paycheck isn't going up so it's like, 'how am I going to continue to survive?'"In a 2020 survey, the National Education Association found that 16% of educators are having trouble making rent or mortgage payments, up from 12% before the Covid-19 pandemic. Read MoreThe association stresses the need for greater pay increases, in addition to more affordable housing options and other benefits. The pandemic...
    Frustrated parents have lashed out at the Los Angeles school district after an unprecedented shutdown of its computer systems following a massive cyberattack. Password changes for 540,000 students and 70,000 district employees were discovered late Saturday night, spurring urgent talks with the White House and the National Security Council. Los Angeles Unified School district confirmed it had detected 'unusual activity in its Information Technology systems over the weekend' but had the situation under control. Parents have lashed out at the Los Angeles school district (pictured) after a massive cyber attack 'Since the identification of the incident, which is likely criminal in nature, we continue to assess the situation with law enforcement agencies,' they wrote in a statement. 'While the investigation continues, Los Angeles Unified has swiftly implemented a response protocol to mitigate Districtwide disruptions, including access to email, computer systems, and applications. 'This communication is being published after extensive, required vetting and approval by a number of entities and agencies.' One parent claimed everything platform they used was crashing and couldn't access an avenue to rectify the issue  Disgruntled parents...
    (CNN)Ransomware attacks on schools in the US may increase as children return to school and cybercriminals see more extortion opportunities, federal officials warned on Tuesday as the Los Angeles Unified School District grappled with a significant ransomware attack. A ransomware gang known as Vice Society, which emerged last year, has been "disproportionately targeting the education sector with ransomware attacks," said the public advisory from the FBI, US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the MS-ISAC, a cyberthreat-sharing body. Schools with limited cybersecurity resources are often the most vulnerable to ransomware, federal officials said, but even well-defended school systems can be at risk to opportunistic hackers. K-12 schools "may be seen as particularly lucrative targets" because of the sensitive student data stored on school systems or through third-party tech companies, the advisory said. The warning comes as the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest in the US, experienced a ransomware attack over Labor Day weekend that the district said caused "significant disruption" to computer systems but did not cancel classes. Read MoreIt's unclear who was responsible for the...
    The Los Angeles Unified School District said in a Monday announcement that the school district had been affected by a ransomware attack on its IT infrastructure but that it would not affect classes in the district. The school district said it had "detected unusual activity" throughout its IT systems, which the district subsequently confirmed was an "external cyber attack" that was "likely criminal in nature." TEACHERS UNION SAYS 70% OF LA EDUCATORS HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT QUITTING "While we do not expect major technical issues that will prevent Los Angeles Unified from providing instruction and transportation, food or Beyond the Bell services, business operations may be delayed or modified," the district said in a statement. "Based on a preliminary analysis of critical business systems, employee healthcare and payroll are not impacted, nor has the cyber incident impacted safety and emergency mechanisms in place at schools." "Los Angeles Unified has swiftly implemented a response protocol to mitigate districtwide disruptions, including access to email, computer systems and applications," the statement read. The district said it had contacted the...
    by Rose Williams   Following national coverage of the Minneapolis school district’s race-based employment policies, Liz Collin Reports hosted a retired Los Angeles teacher who saw the same thing happen in his district over 15 years ago. Phil Pearson worked as a special-ed teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest district in California and second largest in the country, when a similar rule to move teachers based on race was put into place. Alpha News recently exposed a collective bargaining agreement between the Minneapolis teachers union and school district that calls for laying off white teachers before people from “underrepresented” populations. In Los Angeles, the district’s “Teacher Integration Transfer Program” required the “race of a teacher to be considered for any decision about a teacher’s assignment, displacement, or transfer,” according to the Pacific Legal Foundation, which sued over the policy. “In the displacement, normal practice is to offer the lowest-seniority teachers positions at other schools that might have a shortage. This is what was expected to happen,” Pearson said. Pearson said the seeds of the five-year legal battle were planted...
    Pitts spoke with Assistant Principal Brian Wisniewski, who told the mom that her daughter's class was reading Frederick Douglass' autobiography and the cotton field was created so students could have a "real life experience" of slavery, the Times added, citing the lawsuit. More from the paper:After Pitts expressed her disappointment with the project, Wisniewski agreed and said the school's principal would reach out to Pitts, the lawsuit states. Diaz listened to Pitts' request for the cotton field to be taken down in 24 hours but said that the school couldn't accommodate such a quick turnaround, saying it could aim for the end of the week or the following week, but couldn't make any promises, according to the lawsuit.Wisniewski and Diaz didn't immediately return requests for comment. An LAUSD spokesperson said the district didn't comment on ongoing or pending litigation.Pitts' daughter said her social justice teacher required students to "pick cotton" — and while Pitts' daughter wasn't forced to do so, she had to watch other students complete the project while she cared for other crops in the garden, the Times...
    Supporters of the ordinance say it is necessary for the safety of children, especially those who walk to school and have to pass encampments where drug use, sexual activity, and mental illness are rampant. "Our students are already traumatized with social-economic issues," Councilman Joe Buscaino said. "They should not be exposed to sex acts. They should not be exposed to open drug use. They should not be exposed to psychotic behavior." Protesters and homelessness activists have decried the law as an attack on the "unhoused." They argue that nearly 20% of the city would be sectioned off by banning encampments near schools and that lawmakers should instead provide more permanent housing to decrease encampments, according to KCBS-TV. Demonstrators had previously disrupted a city council meeting on Aug. 2 where lawmakers held an initial vote on the ordinance. "Enforcement of anti-camping ordinances, then, only displaces people and makes it harder for trained outreach staff to establish trust again. Residents of cleared encampments, unless connected to stable permanent housing through a trauma-informed case management process, often return to unsheltered...
    Los Angeles Supt. Alberto Carvalho, in his first back-to-school address, pledged Monday to bring rapid progress to the nation’s second-largest school district, which has long struggled to make modest, consistent gains. Carvalho made the promise to school district administrators and other district and community leaders during what is widely viewed as a “state of the district” event and a preview of the academic year ahead — plans that will later serve as benchmarks to gauge the superintendent’s own effectiveness. “Most view reform at an institution like Los Angeles Unified as necessarily protracted,” Carvalho said in his prepared remarks to a packed Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A. “Community reform by nature does not have to be protracted or slow. It can be quick. And we will be making changes and reforming the way Los Angeles Unified conducts business in a swift and unapologetic manner.” Carvalho pointed to his recently school board-approved strategic plan, calling it his guidepost, “laying out exactly how we will position Los Angeles Unified as the premiere urban school district of choice,” in a speech that was intended...
    Left-wing activists stormed Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday, unsuccessfully trying to prevent lawmakers from expanding an ordinance banning homeless encampments near schools. “We've taken over City Hall and are now rolling out the ‘People’s Public Comment.’ F&@k their bogus rules; this is what democracy looks like,” tweeted the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a group that bills itself as “human rights defenders and truth tellers.” LA HOMELESS CAMP CLEANUP NETS TONS OF TRASH AND BIOLOGICAL WASTE A homeless man sits at his street side tent along the Interstate 110 freeway along downtown Los Angeles' skyline on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel) The mask-wearing activists chanted, stomped, and cheered while waving posters asking for municipal code 41.18 to be abolished. This makes it illegal for a person to sit, lie, or sleep near a narrow group of schools and day care facilities. At one point, they chanted, “No justice, no peace, no more racist police.” After taking an hour of public comment with half a dozen police officers standing guard, the City Council eventually voted 11 to...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers during a meeting that was disrupted by protesters who said it criminalizes homelessness. The council voted 11-3 to vastly broaden an existing ban on sitting, sleeping or camping that currently only applies to daycare centers and schools specified by the council. The vote, which applies to public and private schools, came after a previous vote last month failed to pass unanimously. The meeting was recessed for about an hour before the vote after dozens of people became unruly, at one point chanting “shut it down!” A second and final vote will still be needed next week. About 750 public school sites are within the city limits, Los Angeles Unified School District officials told the Los Angeles Times, which said nearly 1,000 commercial day-care businesses are registered with the city. The next public school year starts on Aug. 15. Los Angeles is among many cities struggling to deal with a surge in homelessness and large encampments scattered...
    "I'm going to stand up for this council," O'Farrell said. "Everyone here is compassionate, deeply caring of people who are the most vulnerable among us. I'm not going to buy into this rhetoric that we're monsters, that we're murderers or anything like that. It's all nonsense." Los Angeles Community Action Network member Ruben Garcia told the City News Service that the city would not be able to enforce the new ordinance because there are so many camps in the city. "They're putting on a little show because they can't enforce it," Garcia said. "There's tents everywhere. So good luck being able to enforce that law. They won't be able to enforce it. Because what are they going to do, arrest people for being homeless?" One homeless person told KTLA-TV that the law was impractical. “How can I count 500 feet? I don’t carry a tape measure with me,” said Susan Hartnett. “Where do we go?” An audit in February from Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin said that some housing units constructed by the city for homeless people...
    The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit homeless people from setting up tents within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers, during a raucous meeting where protesters shouted down council members and, at one point, halted the meeting. The new restrictions, approved on an 11 to 3 vote, dramatically expand the number of locations where sleeping and camping are off-limits. And they come amid a furious debate over how the city should respond to encampments that have taken hold in many parts of the city. Audience members repeatedly chanted “shut it down” as Councilman Joe Buscaino, a longtime proponent of increased enforcement, attempted to speak in favor of the restrictions. Council President Nury Martinez then stopped the meeting for more than an hour so police could clear the room. After audience members had exited, council members reconvened, discussed the measure and voted. “I think people were intent this morning to shut this place down and keep us from doing the very job that we were all elected to do,” Martinez said before the vote. “And that I...
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Schools are planning a return to the classroom, and it's bringing new challenges.There could be last minute changes as the pandemic surges and drops."The pandemic hurt everyone, but it hurt some more than others," said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who stresses it's critical that students stay in the classroom."In-person learning, there's no substitute for that, and yes we needed to close schools to try to take stock of this pandemic, but we now have the tools, the resources, the funding to help mitigate some of the challenges of the pandemic better so that our students can thrive in our schools and be in person where they belong," he said.According to the California Department of Public Health, vaccination rates for young kids are low. Three percent of children under the age of five and 36% of kids 5 to 11 have received at least one dose.That's compared to 72% of kids 12 to 17."There remains uncertainty around the trajectory of this pandemic," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health.As...
    The Pac-12 on Tuesday announced it has expedited the process for negotiating its next media rights contract — a move that both reflects the current upheaval and creates a potential path to salvation. At lunchtime, the conference released the following one-sentence statement: “The Pac-12 Board of Directors met this morning and authorized the Conference to immediately begin negotiations for its next media rights agreements.” The move comes five days after USC and UCLA formally accepted invitations to join the Big Ten starting in the summer of 2024. More significantly, it comes as the 10 remaining schools pursue options in other conferences, with the Big 12 chief among them. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are potential targets because of their geographic proximity, although Oregon and Washington — the most valuable football schools remaining in either the Pac-12 or Big 12 — seemingly hold the key to the next iteration of college football in the western third of the country. Last summer, when the Big 12 was vulnerable after losing Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, the Pac-12 decided against raiding...
    The Los Angeles school board has delayed the implementation of a student COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the second time amid continued aversion among thousands of families to taking the vaccine. The board had initially announced the mandate during the fall 2021 semester and planned to implement it in January 2022. But, weeks before the mandate was set to take effect, the school board postponed its implementation to the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. LOS ANGELES PUBLIC SCHOOLS DELAY STUDENT VACCINE MANDATE AFTER MASS NONCOMPLIANCE But, on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to postpone implementation of the mandate again until July 2023, saying the move was supported by science. “This was the right move at the right time, perfectly endorsed by science,” Los Angeles Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told the Los Angeles Times. The latest postponement is a sign that the district may be waffling on implementing a policy it once vowed to defend vigorously. District employees are still required to receive COVID-19 vaccines. California Gov. Gavin Newsom had initially announced plans for a...
    The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) reached an agreement Friday with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) to allow schools to drop indoor mask mandates for teachers and students, and only “strongly recommend” masks. Local ABC affiliate KABC-7 reported: Los Angeles Unified School District students and staff will be able to remove their masks indoors, with the district announcing Friday it has reached agreements with its labor unions to lift the face-covering requirement. The district announced it will now only strongly recommend masks indoors. The new policy will begin no later than Wednesday, March 23, officials said in a news release. According to LAUSD, the new agreement still needs to be formally ratified by union members, but that process has already begun, and the mandate is expected to be lifted by Wednesday. As Breitbart News reported, Los Angeles County had canceled its mask mandate for schools in the county, effective March 11, after the State of California dropped its own indoor mask mandates. But the UTLA refused to allow the mask mandate to drop for schools in the district,...
    Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) trains teachers in “critical social justice gender ideology” in part to “address when students or staff make an ‘unacceptable’ error in words or actions that are against gender ideology,” according to a staff member who participated. It was a “cult-retreat-like-experience” the LAUSD teacher who shared the information with Parents Defending Education (PDE) said. “The trainers called for us to raise our hands if we could commit to using preferred pronouns and STAND UP if we commit to using trans students’ preferred names.” If the staff did not commit to the ideology, “it was an obvious sign that you’re problematic and bigoted and in the wrong.” The training slideshow says that gender identity is “our innermost feelings of who we are as a woman, man, both, and/or neither.” In a section called “Interrupting Bias: Calling Out vs. Calling In,” staff are encouraged to go after staff and students who may disagree with the ideology because “we need to let someone know that their words or actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated [and] we...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Unified School District — the largest U.S. school district still requiring masks for staff and students — announced Friday that it will lift the mandate as COVID-19 infection rates continue to plunge. The nation’s second-largest school district said it will drop the requirement by next Wednesday after reaching an agreement with the teachers union, although other virus safety measures such as weekly testing will remain in place through the school year. LAUSD has more than 600,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The nation’s largest district, New York City, ended its mask mandate on March 7, except for classrooms that serve kids younger than 5, who aren’t yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. United Teachers Los Angeles had balked at ending the school mask mandate until a large majority of students and staff had been vaccinated. That frustrated some parents who saw the state, Los Angeles County and many local districts dropping their mandates, and small demonstrations have been held in recent weeks at several schools. However, the county is still recommending that masks...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Students across the State of California were able to remove their masks while in class for the first time in nearly two years Monday. Masks are no longer required in schools or child care facilities, but they are still strongly recommended to help protect your children, family, and community against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/L9jcZGX013 — CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) March 12, 2022 California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the move on Feb. 28, noting that the decision was based on the latest data and science across the state, which have continually shown rapidly declining COVID-19 over recent weeks. It falls in line with the lifting of the statewide indoor mask mandate on Feb. 15, and Los Angeles County’s similar move on March 4. READ MORE: 262K Pounds Of Illegal Meat From China Seized At Port Of LAThe decision was met with both support and concern — par for the course on the highly divisive topic of masks. CBS reporters on hand at one local school detailed that dozens of students could be seen both with and without masks...
    Monday marked the first day since most schools reopened in spring 2021 that students across Los Angeles County have the option to remove their masks in class — although the L.A. Unified School District is an exception. The option to remove masks took effect based on a revised county health order and clearance from state health officials. Yet county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer strongly urges that masking continue as a prudent and valuable measure, especially because student vaccination rates are lagging: 29% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated. Data indicate that children are far less susceptible to serious illness from COVID-19 and are frequently asymptomatic, but they can still pass on the infection to others of all ages. County education officials said they are not tracking which of the region’s 80 school districts are removing mask mandates, but a spot check indicates that many are — likely the majority — including those that have had safety protocols that were among the most strict. Districts moving to optional masking include the county’s second- and third-largest school...
    The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union will compel children in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to continue wearing masks to school Monday even as the county’s mask mandate expires and other districts will drop masks. As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, L.A. County public health officials announced that the school mask mandate would end after March 11, shortly after the State of California announced that it was lifting school mask mandates statewide. Several school districts in the county announced that they would end the mask mandates. But UTLA wanted to continue the mandates in LAUSD schools, pointing to a collective bargaining process that, it said, had to be followed before any changes. LAUSD said in a statement on Friday that it needed to follow the “science” carefully before it allowed the mandate to end in its schools, though what is actually going on is that it is negotiating with the UTLA about when masks can be removed. The science that informed the on-ramp to the protective protocols currently in place, which have ensured the well-being of...
    Students in Los Angeles County public schools will no longer have to wear masks at school after March 11, after county officials announced that they were aligning with California’s decision Monday to drop the mandates. However, the local teachers’ union, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), wants to preserve masks in the L.A. Unified School District, citing its collective bargaining agreement. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that given the declining infection numbers in the declining omicron wave of the coronavirus, school mask mandates would be dropped, and unvaccinated people would no longer be required to wear their masks indoors, though county officials had independent discretion. That led L.A. County — which has some of the country’s most restrictive coronavirus policies — to announce that it would join the state in removing mask mandates for school. But while some districts in the county want to cancel the mandates immediately, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) schools, which includes schools in Los Angeles itself, may be stuck with masks. The Los Angeles Times reported: Los Angeles County health officials on Monday...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday is expected to make an announcement about the school mask mandate. Students listen to LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho while at the Maywood Center For Enriched Studies Magnet school on Feb. 16, 2022, in Maywood, Calif. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images) READ MORE: Ukraine Seeks 'Immediate Ceasefire' In First Direct Talks With Russia As Onslaught ContinuesCalifornia and Hawaii are the only two states left in the nation that still require all students to wear masks while in schools. On Feb. 16, California lifted mask requirements in most indoor public spaces – such as restaurants and retail stores — for those who are vaccinated against COVID-19, while Los Angeles County relaxed its own such restrictions on Friday. However, at the time, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that the state would keep the mask mandate in place in schools through at least today, when the state would then reassess the situation. READ MORE: $295M Bel-Air Megamansion To Go Up For AuctionThe issue has been controversial across...
    The Pac-12’s last best chance to secure a fourth NCAA Tournament berth comes this weekend, when two March Madness locks collide with a bubble team on the court in Eugene. Arizona, UCLA and USC are safely in the tournament. But Oregon needs at least one victory over the Los Angeles schools, and perhaps two, to feel more comfortable about its prospects for Selection Sunday. The Ducks won twice in Southern California a month ago. A second sweep of the No. 13 Bruins and No. 24 Trojans — those are NET rankings, not AP top-25 placements — would give the Ducks a resume boost many fellow bubble-sitters could not match. Remember, the 36 at-large teams aren’t selected in a vacuum. They’re continually evaluated against each other in groups of two, four or six teams at a time until the field is selected. Anything that differentiates one team resonates with the committee. Even a split this weekend could provide Oregon with an edge in the inevitable resume showdowns against other at-large hopefuls. To the Hotline’s latest NCAA projections … — For those...
    The Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday dropped its outdoor mask mandate after the county allowed K-12 schools to lift the requirement last week. Students will no longer be required to wear masks at recess or during athletics, as long as they are outdoors. The new policy took effect for students and staff on Tuesday because schools were closed for the Presidents Day holiday on Monday, although those participating in athletics were allowed to unmask outside a day earlier. On Wednesday, L.A. County relaxed its outdoor masking requirements for K-12 schools and child-care facilities as well as at “mega” events, such as those at the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium, SoFi Stadium and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. California Supt. Carvalho confronts his first big decision: Should LAUSD relax mask requirements? New L.A. Unified schools chief said he is conferring with medical experts and expects an announcement soon. L.A. Unified opted to keep its own outdoor mask rules in place but announced on Friday it would follow suit. L.A. Supt. Alberto Carvalho said it was...
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that the state will likely have to live with COVID-19 for years if not forever, but the battle for mask mandates continues.Protesters Friday brought their message to the county Department of Public Health building in downtown Los Angeles. They demanded an end to the mask mandates."It's time to unmask," said one parent who asked to be identified as Alex L.Protesters tossed hundreds of masks outside the department's building to say they feel fed up."We want them to align with California in general," the L.A. Uprising founder Ross Novie said. "It's one of the only counties that forces indoor masking still. They're following their own science even though we see states and cities across the nation changing and dropping these mask policies."This comes as the governor announced a new plan moving to an endemic policy as we live with COVID-19.Meanwhile, outraged parents in Chino Hills voiced their concerns and frustrations with school district board members after they voted to keep the mandate requiring students to wear masks in the classroom."We are done...
    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After initially resisting county guidance regarding mask-wearing outdoors, the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday will drop its COVID-19 mandate that students and staff wear face coverings while outside on campuses.Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made the announcement late Friday, posting revised district guidance online. The new rules state that "outdoor masking will be optional for all individuals in Los Angeles Unified schools effective February 22, 2022."The rules noted that while schools are closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday, anyone on campuses that day for athletic activities can also do so without masks.Carvalho had indicated earlier this week that the mask mandate would likely be lifted by Tuesday. Update on outdoor mask mandate.Actualización sobre el requisito de usar mascarillas en espacios exteriores. pic.twitter.com/f32UxN61U2— Alberto M. Carvalho (@LAUSDSup) February 19, 2022The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday lifted its outdoor mask-wearing mandate for mega-events and for schools and child-care centers, citing plummeting COVID hospitalization numbers and an apparent end to the winter surge of virus infections.But Carvalho took some heat when the LAUSD initially...
    Over a two-day whirlwind tour, newly arrived Los Angeles schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho dashed around the vast system sampling the best that L.A. Unified has to offer — and repeatedly pledged that more high-quality schooling would be nurtured into reality because, he said, more is urgently needed. He visited a parents center and called for parents to be “dangerous in a good way,” painted with a preschooler, floated an unusual student recruitment idea and fleshed out more of an anticipated 100-day plan. He also said he is doing some homework: “I’m looking specifically at attendance patterns, proficiency realities specific to language arts, reading, mathematics, as well as the temperature on the social and emotional well-being” of students, drilling down into “every single ZIP Code, every single area” of the sprawling district. LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho speaks to a class at North Hollywood’s Fair Avenue Elementary School on Thursday. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times) And at each stop and classroom, he queried teachers about the learning objective at hand — and asked teachers, principals and others about what he could...
    Los Angeles County reported the second-highest daily coronavirus death toll in close to a year on Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The 102 deaths was the county's highest daily toll from COVID-19 in the past 11 months, according to the newspaper. While the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health noted in a statement on Wednesday that hospital admissions have been declining, the department noted that patients requiring ventilators and those in the ICU have remained steady.  The county said that it was entering a post-surge phase and noted that the health department had issued a modified county order on Wednesday that would no longer require masking at large outdoor events or in outdoor spaces, including at childcare centers and K-12 schools, given that hospitalizations have been below 2,500 for seven days in a row. However, the county noted that masking was still required in certain indoor settings like schools and correctional facilities. California’s top health official said earlier this week that indoor masking in schools would be in place until at least the end of February. The data illustrates that...
    The superintendent for Los Angeles Unified School District said late Tuesday that the district will maintain its outdoor mask rules, even as the county announced its outdoor mask mandate was lifted. Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced late Tuesday night that the district would not immediately relax its rules for outdoor masking, but he added that the decision would be revisited in the coming days. “Los Angeles Unified will keep the current guidelines in place for the remainder of this week and will announce changes to our outdoor masking guidance as early as next week,” Carvalho said in a tweet. Update on outdoor mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/3dBNEbYqhJ— Alberto M. Carvalho (@LAUSDSup) February 16, 2022 Carvalho’s tweet came just as Los Angeles County officials announced that they would be lifting the city’s outdoor mask mandate but would keep it in place for indoor settings. The county had included outdoor settings at schools among the places the mandate would be lifted. LIBERAL JURISDICTIONS LIFT MASK MANDATES — BUT NOT FOR SCHOOLS ...
    Late last year, Supt. Alberto Carvalho gathered with his Miami-Dade principals to review disappointing data on the impact of the pandemic on student learning. Miami-Dade has long taken pride on its significant strides toward improving academic achievement. But the data showed big dips in English test scores and even bigger drops in math, particularly for students of color. One of Carvalho’s biggest accomplishments during his 13-year tenure was being undermined. No school in recent years has gotten an F under Florida’s grading system for measuring school quality and only a few received Ds. Although Florida did not require school grades during the 2020-2021 school year, if marks had been given, nearly 40% of Miami-Dade schools would have gotten Ds and Fs, the district’s data showed. This week, Carvalho takes over as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the high-stakes challenge to his Miami legacy is the same one he now confronts in L.A. — except on a bigger, more complex scale. Pandemic-related student achievement has deeply suffered at a time of declining student enrollment. Academic recovery has...
    DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sandra Cano is the daughter of Salvadoran and Honduran immigrants."I am originally from Los Angeles. I was born in East L.A. and my grandmother lived in the Maravilla Projects," Cano said.Cano said she grew up in many systemically under-resourced communities. So her mom, who was a housekeeper, took her to schools on the westside of Los Angeles."My mom was working in more West L.A. neighborhoods in wealthy homes. A lot of her bosses told her that she needed to make sure that she prioritized my education. And that was her purpose for coming here to the United States," said Cano.According to Cano, she feels fortunate she was able to earn her doctorate from U.C.L.A. in educational leadership."When I was growing up I had the opportunity to go into private school. But that really isn't what I felt should be happening," said Cano. "I felt that the communities from which I was in had the high quality of education at these schools same as the schools that I had to travel into West L.A."The lifelong educator...
    Educators and families are bracing for another round of pandemic policy shifts as California officials weigh when to lift mask mandates for schools — with some eagerly calling for students and staff to unmask and others urging caution. A general easing of rules is set for Feb. 15 — when California is poised to lift mask mandates for vaccinated residents in indoor public places. The rules would not immediately affect Los Angeles County until officials modify their health order. Local health orders on COVID-19 safety measures are allowed to be more strict than state guidelines. But state officials did not announce what will happen in schools — a growing tension point among some parents — and local school officials were left speculating about what new rules will be handed down in what has been a long saga of shifting school pandemic policies. Currently, the state requires all K-12 students and staff to wear masks indoors. But the school mandates across the country are beginning to loosen. Just this week, officials in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon also announced timelines...
    HARBOR CITY (CBSLA) — On Tuesday, most students in Los Angeles returned to school, however, many were greeted with unfamiliar faces.  “There were teachers missing,” said ninth-grader Zuleina Gonzalez. “I had a substitute. The teacher is going to be gone for about a whole week.” READ MORE: Red Cross Urges Blood Donations Among 'Critical' Shortage, Offers Super Bowl TicketsHiccups like teachers calling in sick with COVID-19 were a common occurrence for not only students at Gonzalez’s school Narbonne High in Harbor City but at many schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. According to the LAUSD website, Narbonne has been hit especially hard, recording one of the highest positivity rates among L.A. public schools, more than 16%, which is slightly higher than the district’s average of 14.2%. Narbonne High School reported one of the highest positivity rates among all Los Angeles public schools. (credit: CBS) “I’m really grateful that we fought for baseline testing to prevent all of these cases from hitting our schools today,” said LAUSD parent and teacher Nicolle Fefferman.  Both staff and students had to...
    More than 65,000 Los Angeles public school staff and students have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the return to class today, according to school district data.  Proof of a negative test result is mandatory to return to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, meaning thousands of students will miss the first days of lessons. The system was implemented at the beginning of the school year in August in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and requires staff and students to test in the week before they return to campus.   More than 65,000 Los Angeles public school staff and students have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the return to class on Tuesday (pictured, a testing site in East Los Angeles in April 2021) Proof of a negative test result is mandatory to return to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (pictured, a school employee takes a test in April 2021) More than 414,000 take-home rapid antigen and PCR tests have been taken in the past week, with 65,630 returning positive results.  The results show...
    The Los Angeles Unified School District sent an email to high school administrators and parents late Sunday informing them all athletic competition this week (Jan. 10-14) will be postponed and rescheduled due the COVID-19, specifically referring to the omicron variant. “Student athletes, drill and band members will be allowed to practice outdoors only and must be wearing a mask. We will reevaluate our data and determine next steps before the end of the week. Our goal is to resume athletic competitions as soon as possible,” the letter read. The suspension directly impacts the Los Angeles City Section, which governs athletic competition and championships for LAUSD schools. City Section commissioner Vicky Lagos says there are multiple contingency plans ready. The last allowable regular-season contest for basketball is Feb. 4. Soccer’s last match needs to be played by Feb. 5. “We may need to play just one round of league games, instead of two. We have a plan to alter the playoff divisions – less teams in a bracket or adding a division – so we can get through...
    Three California State University campuses have announced they will start the semester online because of this winter’s omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge. And officials at four more Southern California CSU schools said they are still deliberating the issue. Cal State Los Angeles, Sacramento State and CSU Channel Islands will all pivot to virtual learning to begin the spring semester, CSU spokeswoman Toni Molle said in an email Wednesday morning. A sign at California State University Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)  CSULA will be remote for three weeks, while the other two will go online for a fortnight. As of Wednesday, only one Southern California CSU, Cal Poly Pomona, said it would continue with in-person classes as planned. Cynthia Peters, a school spokeswoman, said the school plans to meet in person when the semester starts on Jan. 22, requiring eligible students to get their booster shots by Feb. 28. Other Cal State campuses, meanwhile, are still contemplating what to do, including Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach and Northridge. On Wednesday afternoon, Lilly McKibbin,...
    Students and staff at Los Angeles schools are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to classrooms this month. The Los Angeles Unified School District updated its guidance on Jan. 3, requiring that all students and staff get tested before resuming in-person instruction on Jan. 11. Employees and students are allowed to start testing on Jan. 3. The district is accepting external PCR, antigen or at-home tests. Parents must upload negative results to students’ Daily Pass accounts by Jan. 9. The new testing requirement comes as the U.S. continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide, driven in part by the highly transmissible omicron variant. The COVID-19 positivity rate in Los Angeles spiked in December, and the seven-day daily average positivity rate is now 14.9 percent, according to the county’s COVID-19 data. Hospitalizations and deaths, however, are not seeing a similar leap, according to The Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles school district said it will continue testing students and employees weekly throughout the month of January, and will still require masks at all times, including when indoors...
    With Omicron spreading with unprecedented speed, Los Angeles County is tightening coronavirus safety rules as schools reopen this week in hopes of slowing outbreaks. The move comes at a perilous moment, with coronavirus infections surpassing previous highs. L.A. County recorded 23,553 new cases on Saturday and 21,200 more on Sunday, far above last winter’s peak average of 16,000 cases a day; and those numbers are probably undercounts due to lags from weekend reporting. The coronavirus transmission rate in Los Angeles County is now estimated to be greater than at any point since the early months of the pandemic, as cases soar across California, data show. Every infected person in L.A. County is on average transmitting the virus to two other people, according to estimates from California’s COVID-19 computer models published Monday morning. Officials have vowed to keep schools open despite the surge. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted last week that there had been on average fewer than a dozen outbreaks per week across some 3,000 schools during the fall, which were typically small and immediately contained....
              by Eric Lendrum   Homeless encampments have begun cropping up near schools throughout the city of Los Angeles, even despite a citywide ban on any such encampments near public areas, as reported by the Epoch Times. The Los Angeles City Council had previously passed a new resolution, Ordinance 41.18, which was signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Calif.), forbidding any such homeless camps from being set up within 500 feet of “sensitive-use” areas, including schools, daycares, libraries, and parks. The ordinance also banned such camps from forming near freeway overpasses and underpasses, ramps, tunnels, and bridges. But in order for the ordinance to be enforced, each individual district’s councilmember must introduce a motion to do so, which then must be approved by the council. As such, homeless encampments have begun sprouting up near schools in the Venice Beach neighborhood, which falls under District 11; that district is represented by Councilman Mike Bonin (D-Calif.), who has a history of refusing to enforce anti-homeless measures for other districts, and has not yet introduced any such measures to protect his own district. On...
              by Kendall Tietz   A California activist group calculated that students in Los Angeles County missed over 90,000 school days in the span of a month, Fox News reported. In about a month a total of 92,455 in-person school days in Los Angeles County were lost, which Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools called “astounding,” Fox News reported Monday. Quarantine measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic kept kids home from school, which led to the learning loss that Zachreson said “could have been avoided” if school officials hadn’t intervened in public health matters. Many students were able to stay in school because of “Test to Stay” programs, which allow unvaccinated students who are exposed to the virus to stay in school as long as they are asymptomatic, wear a mask and take two COVID-19 tests a week, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. “I don’t know why they weren’t doing that to begin with,” Zachreson told Fox News. “All of this shows what we’ve parents have been advocating since last summer is that it’s safe to be...
    A California archdiocese is suing its local school district for withholding funding from the church. The Los Angeles Archdiocese is suing the Los Angeles Unified School District, seeking a court order that would force the school district to “engage in timely and meaningful consultations with (the archdiocese) regarding the process by which the (archdiocese) schools’ Title I allocation was calculated,” with the archdiocese alleging the district withheld funding from local Catholic schools, particularly those in poor communities. LAUSD "has openly and consistently acted to prevent federally funded services from reaching eligible, lower-income (archdiocesan) students," the archdiocese alleges in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the California Superior Court. CHRISTIANS IN ISRAEL ALLEGE THAT 'RADICAL GROUPS' ARE ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE THEM OUT LAUSD had increased its own federal funding by withholding from the archdiocese's Catholic schools, the archdiocese claims. The two local organizations have been on tense terms since 2018, when LAUSD and the archdiocese discussed which Catholic schools qualify for federal funding, according to the Daily Breeze. The funding comes through Title I of the...
    The founder of Reopen California Schools, Jonathan Zachreson, said that it's "astounding" that a total of 92,455 in-person school days in Los Angeles County were lost during a period of just over a month in the fall due to quarantine measures and that it all "could have been avoided" had school officials not tried to take public health into their own hands. The CDC released an evaluation of different quarantine measures used by schools in Los Angeles County on Friday, and revealed that massive numbers of students were able to stay in school due to a strategy called "Test to Stay." According to the evaluation, the "Test to Stay" strategy allows unvaccinated students who are exposed to someone infected by the coronavirus to stay in school, as long as they properly wear a mask and undergo two coronavirus tests per week. The exposed student also must remain asymptomatic. Schools that did not use the "Test to Stay" strategy, according to the study, lost a total of 92,455 in-person school days during the Sept. 20 through Oct. 31 period when students...
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that a total of 92,455 in-person school days in Los Angeles County were lost during a period of just over a month in the fall due to quarantine measures. In an evaluation of different coronavirus quarantine measures by the CDC released on Friday, the government agency revealed that some schools in Los Angeles County were able to avoid sending massive numbers of students home due to virus exposure by using a strategy called "Test to Stay." According to the evaluation, the "Test to Stay" strategy allows unvaccinated students who are exposed to someone infected by the coronavirus to stay in school, as long as they properly wear a mask and undergo two coronavirus tests per week. The exposed student also must remain asymptomatic. The evaluation was posted to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Dec. 17. US SCHOOLS BRING BACK REMOTE LEARNING AMID COVID-19 RISE, CHALLENGING BIDEN GOAL OF KEEPING THEM OPEN A student waits to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Los Angeles,...
    A nationwide threat of school violence reportedly circulated on the social media platform TikTok has California educators and law enforcement officers on edge, prompting some Los Angeles schools to request enhanced police presence, though there’s no indication the threats are credible. The anonymous threat reportedly called on students to commit acts of violence on Friday, according to a statement by the National Education Assn., an employee organization that includes teachers and other education professionals. “The threat, or ‘challenge’ as some have referred to it, has warned against students attending class and does not name a specific school or district,” according to the statement. TikTok tweeted on Thursday afternoon that it “has not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok.” TikTok spokesperson Jamie Favazza said Friday that the company would continue to search for such content but was concerned that unconfirmed local media reports on the trend “could end up inspiring real world harm.” The Los Angeles Police Department said it was not aware of any credible threats to local schools, a message echoed by...
              by Madison Hirneisen   Los Angeles Unified School District will hold off enforcement until the start of the Fall 2022 semester for a vaccine mandate that would have moved thousands of students out of the classroom and into remote learning. The LAUSD’s Board of Education voted Tuesday to suspend enforcement of a vaccine mandate for all students 12 and older until the fall. The original mandate, which passed in September, required students to show proof of full vaccination or obtain an exemption by Jan. 10, 2022, to continue attending in-person classes. Under the initial mandate, those who were not in compliance with the requirement would be required to attend classes remotely at the start of the new semester. But after the council’s Tuesday vote, the district will delay the transfer of non-compliant students to online programs until the fall semester in 2022. As of Tuesday, about 27,000 students were not in compliance with the mandate, and there is not enough time for students to be fully vaccinated at this point before the initial deadline kicks in, according to ABC News. The...
    The former executive director of a for-profit Los Angeles charter school operator was sentenced to three years of probation Wednesday in federal court. Janis Bucknor, 53, was also ordered to pay about $2.5 million in restitution, said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Bucknor pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to one count each of theft of funds from an organization receiving federal funds and tax evasion, court records show. She faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison. Her attorneys could not be reached for comment Wednesday. In July 2020, she admitted to stealing more than $3.1 million earmarked for school operations while she served as executive director of Community Preparatory Academy, prosecutors said. The theft took place from early 2014 through November 2019. California Former director of L.A. charter schools admits to embezzling $3.1 million in funds Janis Bucknor, 52, who ran the for-profit Community Preparatory Academy charter school, agreed to plead guilty to two felony offenses. CPA operated two schools, one in Carson and the...