Debra Duardo: LA County Superintendent of Schools Discusses Issues of Reopening

UCLA Education alumna ('13, Ed.D.) shares insights on the challenges to reopening California's schools in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Debra Duardo (’13, EdD; ’96, MSW; ’94, BA, Women’s/Chicana Studies, Cum Laude) was recently interviewed on KPCC’s “Air Talk” on the conditions and challenges that surround reopening schools in Los Angeles.

Duardo, who serves as Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), said that given the myriad of safety and sanitation conditions that need to be met, as well as the reworking of the school year calendar, it is too soon to reopen schools as early as July, as per Gov. Newsom’s four-stage plan to restart California’s economy.

“There are many obstacles,” said Duardo. “We want to make sure that our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and our employees.”

Duardo stated that L.A. County schools are facing the challenge of providing personal protective equipment, face masks, and thermometers to schools, all of which are in short supply. She also cited other issues, such have the need to negotiate a new school calendar, staggered start times, and other scheduling issues with the teachers’ union, and the fact that currently, teachers are overworked with overseeing their student’s now-online learning environment and activities such as child care for first responders and providing food for their local school communities.

To hear Superintendent Duardo on “Air Talk,” visit this link.