School bus drivers stage noisy protest in Los Angeles to demand coronavirus funding

Friday, 14 August 2020_School bus drivers led a noisy protest caravan through downtown Los Angeles on Thursday to demand government and state funding to help reopen schools safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

School bus drivers stage noisy protest in Los Angeles to demand coronavirus fundingThe drivers, from the Los Angeles Unified Schools District (LAUSD), which is the nation's second-largest, were joined by other vehicles as they circled City Hall and honked their horns.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles teachers union and local education officials agreed on a plan for resuming online-only classes at the end of August, but California's powerful teachers unions strongly oppose in-person instruction without safety measures that could be difficult and expensive to implement.

"The investment we have to make in cleaning a school, the investment we have to make in keeping people safe by spreading desks apart, providing extra equipment, providing devices, Internet access, all that costs more money. Unless we have a health crisis turn into an education crisis, we need to make sure the funding is there for schools," said Austin Beutner, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), who came out in solidarity with the protesting drivers and other school staff.

Most experts say that safety measures for in-person learning, as well as remote learning, will require additional funding from the state and federal government.

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