L.A. teachers union opposes opening campuses for students with disabilities, English learners

Citing safety concerns, the leader of the Los Angeles teachers union said Friday it opposes reopening campuses for small in-person classes or one-on-one services for students who are disabled or learning English — even though county health officials have cleared the way to do so.

Some outside advocacy groups pushed back against the union’s position and the unwillingness of the L.A. Unified School District to address the issue directly and publicly.

“The students that have disproportionately suffered over the last several months in LAUSD are students with disabilities and English learners,” said Vanessa Aramayo, executive director of the local group Alliance for a Better Community. “They must be immediately prioritized and they must get the services they are entitled to legally. The learning loss is significant so there needs to be urgency.”

Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said safety concerns for teachers had to take precedence and, she added, the union has the legal authority to veto any attempt by L.A. Unified to order any members of her union to work on campus. Her union also represents nurses and counselors.

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