The United Teachers of Los Angeles issued this statement tonight:

UTLA calls for LAUSD to close schools

Tonight UTLA called on LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner to take decisive action to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are calling for the rapid, accelerated, and humane closure of LAUSD schools,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said. “Other countries have shown that a proactive — not reactive — approach slows the spread of the virus, makes sure healthcare providers are not crushed with overwhelming demand, and dramatically reduces fatalities.”

As part of the call for school closures, UTLA released 10 Common Good Community Demands to support students and families, including 15 additional paid sick days for all LA County workers, a weekly disaster stipend, and creation of a food supply network.

“The state has a $20 billion reserve and this is exactly the time to tap into that reserve to support students and families,” Caputo-Pearl said. “There is an opportunity here to build a social safety net through our Common Good Community Support demands. Let’s take the opportunity to build those now.”

UTLA’s call for an accelerated timeframe for school closures is supported by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents nurses, medical technicians, and other healthcare experts across the country.

“As a healthcare union representing workers on the front lines of this pandemic, we must take proactive steps to protect our communities,” said Sal Rosselli, president of NUHW. “Although closing schools is a difficult decision, only decisive action will slow the exponential growth of this pandemic and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overloaded.”

Link to the UTLA Statement on the Proactive Closure of LAUSD Schools