Pam Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) could face a lawsuit after parents and organizations argue that its distance learning plan "violates students' rights to a basic public education.
The lawsuit, which will be filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says students of African descent and Latinos, as well as English language learners and students with disabilities, were the most affected after learning began virtually.
And, they point out, LAUSD schools provide less remote classroom time than the other five large districts in the state of California.
The litigation comes after, according to a report released by LAUSD in July, more than 50,000 students of African descent and Latinos who attended middle and high school during the spring semester did not regularly participate in the school's virtual classrooms following the campus closure in March.
The district-wide analysis also revealed that English language learners and students with disabilities or homeless students had lower participation in virtual classes.
The transition to virtual classes, the plaintiff group said, highlighted the inequality that exists in access to technology and the Internet for these students.
As the fall semester begins, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner stressed that the district will address the challenges of the digital divide by ensuring that all students have adequate devices and Internet access, as well as voluntary online and in-person tutoring for those who need it most.
Currently, Los Angeles County is in purple on the COVID-19 color-coded system, the most restrictive stage due to the number of cases, so the vast majority of schools will not be able to reopen until it moves to red and remains in that status for two weeks.