Public schools in Los Angeles and San Diego will not allow students to return to campus this fall and will instead offer online instruction only due to the ongoing concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, the districts said in a joint statement Monday.
The two districts, which together enroll about 825,000 students and are the largest school districts in California, join other large districts that have already established that their classes will remain online, including Santa Clara, Oakland, and San Bernardino.
"We are announcing that the new school year will start online only. Instruction will resume on Aug. 18 in Los Angeles Unified and Aug. 31 in San Diego Unified, as previously scheduled," the joint statement reads. "Both districts will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow."
The decision to move to online only instruction comes as the Trump administration pushes for schools to reopen in the fall. Last week, the president threatened to cut federal funding from schools if they do not reopen.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has echoed Trump's message, saying on Sunday that federal funding from schools that remain closed should be distributed to families who can use it to find another option for their children.
Despite President Trump and DeVos' attempts to withhold federal funding, L.A. and San Diego districts are calling for their support.
"The federal government must provide schools with the resources we need to reopen in a responsible manner," the statement said.