The Los Angeles Unified school board voted unanimously Tuesday, Oct. 12, to ratify an agreement with the teachers union on matters related to quarantine instruction, COVID-19 health-and-safety measures and employee compensation.

The agreement also paves the way for more teachers to be reassigned to City of Angels, the district’s online independent study program. The program has been plagued by severe staffing shortages, as a record number of students opted to remain in remote learning this year because of the ongoing pandemic.

Before reaching an agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles, a district policy required teachers to allow live online access to their classrooms for the whole school day for elementary students quarantining at home, or for the entire class period for middle and high schoolers. But under the agreement, teachers only need to provide online access for half that time.

Additionally, the amount of actual interaction with quarantined students online will be up to the teacher, who will also be instructing and supervising in-person students at the same time.

The deal also requires all students and staff on campuses to continue with weekly COVID-19 testing the rest of the semester and for everyone at school to wear masks indoors and outdoors through at least Dec. 1.

Further, the agreement gives all UTLA members a 5% raise, retroactive to July 1, while eligible employees will receive stipends worth up to $2,500 for additional work required of them under the agreement and as reimbursement for technology expenses incurred while working from home last school year. School nurses, meanwhile, will receive $5,000 retention stipends spread over three years.

UTLA has already ratified the agreement.

California

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