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Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Approves Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s Recommendation to Align with the State of California on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older (05-10-22)

CONTACT: Shannon Haber

May 10, 2022

Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Approves Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s Recommendation to Align with the State of California on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older

Los Angeles, CA (May 10, 2022) – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education approved a recommendation from Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho to align with the state of California’s student requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations delaying the effective date to no sooner than July 1, 2023. The vaccination requirement for Los Angeles Unified employees remains in place, and all employees who are assigned to schools are vaccinated.

“Today’s vote shows that we are a science-based school district, and the health and safety protocols we adopt are influenced by the expert advice of our medical partners and public health officials,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We know that students do best when learning in the classroom with their peers. Due to the high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low transmission rates in our schools and our nation-leading safety measures, we have preserved in-person learning in the safest possible environment.”

Los Angeles Unified will continue to provide proactive support to students and families who have not had access to vaccines, or who have not received information enabling them to make an informed choice about vaccinations. The District will support its school communities by providing a consistent, stable learning environment and access to vital student services, including vaccines.

“Our schools are some of the safest places for the students we serve,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “With our nation-leading safety standards, as well as our high rate of vaccinated students over 12, the conditions we find ourselves in have greatly improved. Today’s decision demonstrates that as circumstances change and evolve, the District will continue to make decisions about student safety and well-being in consultation with leading health experts and that are rooted in science.”

“Our goal remains keeping kids safely in the classroom for in-person learning, and I have consistently advocated for LA Unified to stay both aligned with public health guidance and prepared to adapt when that guidance evolves,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “We also know that the District’s high vaccination rates played a crucial role in keeping kids in school throughout the year—and we will continue providing access and encouraging families to get vaccinated ahead of the extended timeline.”

“We encourage all students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but are willing to give the same amount of time as the state before making it a requirement,” Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “This is not about getting the COVID-19 shot or not getting it, but the prioritization of public health. Public health is a public benefit.”

“Our community has risen again in our collective efforts to fight this pandemic," Board Member Mónica García said. “I am grateful to all students, staff and stakeholders that created conditions for Los Angeles Unified to align with the state’s implementation timeline.”

“As the District continues to provide the safest possible environment for our students, staff and families, I support the recommendation to align our student vaccination requirement with the State’s implementation timeline,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “The majority of our students and staff are already vaccinated, so taking this step will only ensure that our students continue to receive a safe and consistent education as well as allow them to enjoy arts, sports and social events. Providing access and information on the vaccine will also encourage students to be vaccinated and hopefully lower the positivity rate in our most vulnerable communities.”

“COVID-19 vaccinations work, and Los Angeles Unified will continue to require this protection,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “Delaying our deadline to the state’s date for students over 12 is a reasonable accommodation for our parents and guardians.”

“We are committed to ensuring our schools are safe and vaccinations continue to be an important part of our plan,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “As an education system, we regularly look at data to inform our decision-making and during this pandemic, we have looked at rates of cases, transmission, and vaccinations across student groups and communities, including in today’s decision to delay the implementation of our student vaccine mandate to align with the state of California.”