Listen Live

LOS ANGELES – The second largest school district in the United States just announced that it will not return to in-person classes this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District said Monday that the district’s goal is to welcome students back in classrooms when it is safe.

“We made the decision to close school facilities before there was any occurrence of the virus at our schools, and this proved to be the right call. Science was our guide then, and it will continue to be. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to spread in the Los Angeles area and the virus is going to impact how we start the new school year. While the new school year will begin on August 18th as scheduled, it will not begin with students at school facilities. The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement obtained by KTTV.

Whether schools and colleges should open this fall and how has been a topic of growing debate as the coronavirus continues to surge in parts of the United States. Trump applauded Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his state’s recent order to open public schools this fall. And Trump attacked Harvard University for its decision to hold instruction online for the fall term.

“I think it’s ridiculous, I think it’s an easy way out and I think they ought to be ashamed of themselves, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent mixed signals on the issue, saying students should return to the classroom but also noting that virtual classes present the lowest risk of COVID-19 spread.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.