Nearly all Los Angeles Unified School District students and staff have moved a step closer to being able to remove their masks indoors beginning Wednesday under an agreement overwhelmingly approved by the union representing the district's teachers.
Members of United Teachers Los Angeles voted 15,466-2,954, 84%-16%, to approve the agreement, the union announced Monday night.
The LAUSD Board of Education is expected Tuesday to approve the agreement.
Masking will continued to be required for staff and students in Early Education Centers and other early learner programs, according to Kim Turner, a communications specialist with UTLA.
The agreement announced Friday calls for continued weekly COVID testing of all students and staff through the end of the school year with masks “strongly recommended” indoors.
The district also must continue to offer KN95 or N95 masks to any employee who requests them. The district also must provide take-home COVID tests to all students and staff “for baseline testing prior to the beginning of the 2022 spring break.”
The agreement will be in place until June 30. Additional talks will be held later to determine protocols for the next school year.
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The state of California and Los Angeles County both lifted the mask-wearing mandate for school campuses on March 12. But the LAUSD kept its requirement in place due to a clause in its labor contract with UTLA, which required mask-wearing through the end of the semester.
The district began labor talks with UTLA and other labor groups after the lifting of the state and county requirements.
The outdoor mask-wearing requirement was lifted previously.