FAIRFAX, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the day in 2020 when the Los Angeles Unified School District transitioned to remote learning because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the district is now working on a plan to bring students and teachers back to campuses, parents held a rally on Saturday morning in the Fairfax district to push for an expedited return to in-person instruction.
Organizers of the demonstration at Pan Pacific Park said that a tentative agreement that has been reached between LAUSD and the United Teachers Los Angeles Union, which includes a proposed hybrid model of learning, does not go far enough.
The protesters said they want their children to return to brick-and-mortar schools five days a week, especially in the fall. Many of the parents have been calling for a reopening for weeks, holding protests and "Zoom blackouts."
Under the terms of the agreement with UTLA that the LAUSD board approved on Thursday, preschool and elementary schools would reopen first in mid-April and secondary schools would reopen by the end of April.
The deal includes provisions for regular COVID-19 testing, the wearing of masks and social distancing and extra efforts to keep schools clean and safe.
"Look, this deal that they just came up with -- which is too little, far too late -- they should have been ready with a plan as soon as cases dropped, which they knew it would," Ross Novie, founder of the group L.A. School Uprising, told ABC7 in an interview. "They should have been ready to enact the plan -- not to start asking people, 'Who's going back?'
"That being said, (we're) happy for elementary school kids to get some structure in their life again," Novie said.
UTLA members on March 18 are scheduled to vote on whether to ratify the deal. The union's leaders are set to participate in a conference call town hall with parents and teachers on Saturday afternoon.