LAUSD Extends Vaccine Deadline for Employees

The Los Angeles Unified School District has extended the deadline for staff to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In what may be a sign of larger problems to come, the district faced the possibility of having to fire thousands of employees amid an existing shortage.

The deadline for full vaccination has been pushed from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. Employees must show proof of at least one vaccine by Friday or they will be suspended.

District officials are hoping the extra time will be enough to get people moving.

“We don’t want people to be out of jobs,” LAUSD Superintendent Megan Reilly told the Los Angeles Times. “Our employees are one of the strongest assets that we have.” However, said Reilly, “we’re absolutely adamant about keeping our schools the safest possible environment — and vaccinations are clearly the pathway to keeping them safe… People have to be vaccinated or they’re not going to be part of the district.”

The latest estimate of unvaccinated LAUSD employees is from Sept. 27 when officials stated that around 1 in 5 had not provided proof of vaccination. That means potentially more than 10,000 people have not yet been inoculated. Some teachers with exemptions have been reassigned to the district’s independent study program.

LAUSD is already struggling with a shortage of workers. It has around 2,000 teaching and staff vacancies.