LAUSD board votes to sue state over school reopening proposal amid pandemic

The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to sue the state over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s school-reopening proposal and to seek reimbursement for millions of meals it’s been providing to the community since the coronavirus pandemic hit last March.

The school board voted 7-0 in closed session on Tuesday, Jan. 12, authorizing “litigation against the state of California, state entities and public officials related to the California’s Safe Schools for All framework,” Jefferson Crain, the board’s executive officer, announced after board members returned to open session.

Superintendents from several of the state’s largest urban school districts wrote to Newsom last week, objecting to his incentive program to get students back onto campus for in-person learning. Schools in more affluent communities, where the number of COVID-19 cases is lower, are more likely to be able to reopen under the Safe Schools for All framework, while poorer communities with higher infection rates would still not be able to reopen, the superintendents said.

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LAUSD is also seeking reimbursement for the meals it’s been providing to adults in the community.

“The Board of Education authorized the initiation of litigation to recover funds spent on providing meals to the community through the Grab & Go program,” Crain said.

A district spokeswoman declined further comment.

LAUSD has provided 95 million meals to students, families and individuals in the communities they serve since the pandemic forced schools to shutter their doors last spring. While the district can seek federal reimbursement for student meals, they’ve been paying out-of-pocket for any adult meals provided. District officials have repeatedly asked for reimbursements for the adult meals through local, state and federal government.

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