The LAUSD Steps Up During A Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis shines a spotlight on how public schools serve their communities while some charter schools leave them behind.

Carl J. Petersen
5 min readMay 18, 2020


We’re in uncharted waters

-LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner

In March, as administrators at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) prepared to close schools in response to the COVID-19 crisis, they made sure that students were sent home with two weeks of lesson plans. However, they knew that they had much more to worry about, especially if the shutdown was extended indefinitely. Most importantly, arrangements had to be made for the 405,000 students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch and depend on the district to alleviate food insecurity.

The initial solution to this problem involved opening 40 family resource centers on school sites throughout the district. These would have provided a supervised place for children “to have a warm meal, engage with their peers, and pursue their different studies.” These plans fell apart quickly as conditions surrounding the pandemic rapidly deteriorated. Instead, the LAUSD opened Grab and Go Food Centers. These allowed the district to distribute meals to those in need while maintaining social distancing.

An important component of these centers is the fact that IDs are not required to receive the food. This means that the LAUSD is serving not only public school students and their families but all families who are in need. This would include those whose children attend charter schools.

Outside Granada Hills Charter High School

According to their own SARC report, 52.7% of the students at Granada Hills Charter High School are “socioeconomically disadvantaged.” This privately-run school is the self-proclaimed “largest charter school in the nation,” and has more students enrolled than 86% of all school districts in the entire country…



Carl J. Petersen

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com