School Districts Serving More than 1 Million Students Commit to a Common Standard for Reopening Schools

LOS ANGELES (November 2, 2020) – Superintendent Austin Beutner today announced that the Los Angeles Unified School District has joined with the Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Ana school districts in a commitment to the highest standard for the reopening of schools. Together, the seven school districts have provided a path to a Common Standard for all public schools in California and have asked Governor Newsom, the state Legislature and local county and city governments to join in this commitment.

“California has long maintained a strict set of standards for health, education and employee protections and practices in schools,” said the Superintendents. “This crisis is not the time to lessen standards which could compromise the health and safety of all in the school community, the quality of education being provided to students or the protections for employees in the workplace.”

The seven superintendents continued, “Many of the challenges faced by society present themselves in schools – including poverty, hunger, a gaping digital divide, inequity and now COVID-19. But schools alone cannot provide the answer. We ask all to join us in a commitment to this Common Standard. This is the path we need to be on to return students to schools in the safest way possible and keep them in school while we deal with the impact the virus is having on all in the school community – teachers, staff, students and their families.”

Superintendent Beutner added, “It’s been about seven months since schools closed and we know many students are struggling online. We must find a way to reopen schools in the safest way possible.”

“The disruptions created by the pandemic and closure of schools have had a harmful effect upon many Californians,” said Dr. Pedro Noguera, Dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, and Dr. Christina Christie, Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California Los Angeles. “The hardships are greatest for the most vulnerable children and their families. It is time for the state to provide clear guidance, rooted in scientific evidence, on how to reopen schools safely. We stand with the seven superintendents of the state’s largest districts in calling for a common standard for reopening schools.”

Together, the school districts and their 100,000-plus employees serve more than 1 million students in communities with about 7 million people.  (LAUSD)