LAUSD Students Will Soon Have to Add Vaccination Proof to the District's Daily Pass App

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

LAUSD Students Will Soon Have to Add Vaccination Proof to the District's Daily Pass App
Photo by Sarah Favot/ dot.LA

Los Angeles Unified School District students who are 12 or older must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to campus next semester, the Board of Education voted Thursday.

The move makes LAUSD the first major school district in the nation to mandate vaccines for eligible students. Officials said 220,000 of the district's half million students are eligible to get the shots.

LAUSD's Daily Pass app

LAUSD's Daily Pass app

Under the measure, approved without dissent, student's vaccination records must be uploaded to the Daily Pass, an app Microsoft developed for the district that allows students to enter campus each day, before Jan. 10. Classes resume from the three-week winter break the following day. School district officials made the decision amid growing worry that the delta-fueled spread of COVID-19 could threaten to shut down in-person instruction after the district fully reopened schools in August. The same day President Biden announced sweeping rules to push tens of millions of Americans to vaccinate.

"We want to do everything possible to make sure that L.A. Unified doesn't end up on the long list of school districts that have had to re-close and go back to distance learning after welcoming students back this fall," school board member Nick Melvoin said. "Science is clear. The best way to avoid that happening is to make sure that everyone who can get a vaccine does."

It comes as child hospitalization rates have spiked nationally as the delta variant spreads.

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention data cited by the district shows that pediatric hospitalization rates were five times higher in August compared to June and the rate among unvaccinated adolescents, aged 12 to 17, was 10 times higher than those who were fully vaccinated.


The district decided to go ahead with the move even though the Pfizer vaccine has not received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for those 12 to 15, although it has received federal emergency use authorization. It has been approved for those 16 and older. And full authorization for those children is expected in the coming weeks.

LAUSD has been lauded by some for implementing the country's strictest protocols among public schools. LAUSD requires all teachers and staff to be vaccinated, going further than the state which allows those who refuse to get the shots to take regular COVID-19 tests. LAUSD already requires COVID-19 testing, regardless of someone's vaccination status and masking both indoors and outdoors. But legal challenges have already been filed against the district.

A parent group called California Students United sued the district this spring over some of its protocols, including the weekly testing requirement. That lawsuit is still pending and more are expected.

A parent group called California Students United sued the district this spring over some of its protocols, including the weekly testing requirement. That lawsuit is still pending.

"The board has good intentions but is misguided about the real impact of this decision," said Negeen Ben-Cohen, who is part of that group. "This will definitely result in yet another significant decline in enrollment in the district. "

Culver City Unified School District was the first district in California to mandate vaccines for eligible students. It has given a deadline of Nov. 19 for students to receive the vaccine.

Under the LAUSD proposal, students who participate in in-person extracurricular activities must receive their shots more quickly. Students have less than a month to get their first shot before an Oct. 3 deadline and their second dose by Oct. 31.

The rest of the students 12 or older must receive their first dose by Nov. 21 and their second by Dec. 19, the Sunday after the fall semester ends.

Students who turn 12 must get their first dose by 30 days after their birthday and their second by eight weeks after. The mandate makes an exception for students with "qualified and approved exemptions and conditional admissions."

The district offers COVID-19 vaccinations at schools throughout the sprawling district.

School board President Kelly Gonez said the mandate is especially important for LAUSD where the majority of students are people of color or from low-income families that have been "devastated by the pandemic."

"We have felt the pain much greater in our L.A. Unified communities than other more affluent places," she said.

Case rates among children in California are lower than those nationally, mostly due to masking mandates and regular testing, experts say. California reported 18 new hospitalizations a day among children and teens as of Sept. 6, according to CDC data.

As of Wednesday night, the district reported 1,359 active COVID cases, with two of those cases linked to school-based transmission.

School board member Monica Garcia defended the district's decision to skeptical parents and others.

"There's a lot of feelings and a lot of concern and a lot of different experiences with COVID specifically to families that do have issues of trust with the government, with L.A. Unified, with the medical profession," she said. "I just want to acknowledge that this action is not about violating anybody's rights. This action is about doing our job to be able to offer public schools that children can come to school and be safe."

One school board member, Scott Schmerelson, recused himself from the vote because of a conflict of interest due to his stock in Pfizer.

Jenna Schwartz, co-founder of parent group Parents Supporting Teachers, told the school board the vaccine mandate for eligible students was a "step in the right direction," but encouraged the district to implement a targeted educational campaign on vaccine safety.

"It's much easier for a parent to look on social media or talk to a friend than it is to access primary sources and that is how we have ended up with a lifesaving vaccine as a polarizing political issue," she said.

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Cadence

Derek Jeter’s Arena Club Knocked a $10M Funding Round Right Out of the Park

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

sports trading cards
Arena Club /Andria Moore

Sports trading card platform Arena Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by CEO Brian Lee and Hall of Fame Yankees player Derek Jeter, Arena Club launched its digital showroom in September. Through the platform, sports fans can buy, sell, trade and display their card collections. Using computer vision and machine learning, Arena Club allows fans to grade and authenticate their cards, which can be stored in the company’s vault or delivered in protective “slabs.” Arena Club intends to use the new cash to expand these functions and scale its operations.

The new funding brings Arena Club’s total amount raised to $20 million. M13, defy.vc, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and BAM Ventures contributed to the round.

“Our team is thankful for the group of investors—led by M13, who see the bright future of the trading card hobby and our platform,” Lee said in a statement. “I have long admired M13 and the value they bring to early-stage startups.”

M13’s co-founder Courtney Reum, who formed the early-stage consumer technology venture firm in 2016 alongside his brother Carter Reum, will join Arena Club’s board. Reum has been eyeing the trading card space since 2020 when he began investing in what was once just a childhood hobby.

The sports trading card market surged in 2020 as fans turned to the hobby after the pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Since then, prices have come down, though demand remains high. And investors are still betting on trading card companies, with companies like Collectors bringing in $100 million earlier this year. Fanatics, which sells athletic collectibles and trading cards, reached a $31 billion valuation after raising $700 million earlier this week. On the blockchain, Tom Brady’s NFT company Autograph lets athletes sell digital collectibles directly to fans.

As for Arena Club, the company is looking to cement itself as a digital card show.

“Providing users with a digital card show allows us to use our first-class technology to give collectors from all over the world the luxury of being able to get the full trading card show experience at their fingertips,” Jeter said in a statement.

Hosts Who Rent From “Airbnb-Friendly” LA Apartments May Not Make a Profit

Amrita Khalid
Amrita Khalid is a tech journalist based in Los Angeles, and has written for Quartz, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Inc. Magazine and number of other publications. She got her start in Washington, D.C., covering Congress for CQ-Roll Call. You can send tips or pitches to amrita@dot.la or reach out to her on Twitter at @askhalid.
LA house

L.A.’s lax enforcement of Airbnbs has led to an surge of illegal short-term rentals — even four years after the city passed a regulation to crack down on such practices. But what if hosts lived in a building that welcomed Airbnb guests and short-term rentals?

That’s the idea behind Airbnb’s new push to expand short-term rental offerings. The company is partnering with a number of corporate landlords that agreed to offer “Airbnb-friendly” apartment buildings, reported The Wall Street Journal last week. According to the report, the new service will feature more than 175 buildings managed by Equity Residential, Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC and 10 other companies that have agreed to clear more than 175 properties nationwide for short-term rentals.

But prospective hosts in Los Angeles who decide to rent apartments from Airbnb’s list of more than a dozen “friendly” buildings in the city likely won’t earn enough to break even due to a combination of high rents, taxes and city restrictions on short-term rentals. Rents on one-bedroom apartments in most of the partnered buildings listed soared well over $3,000 a month. Only a few studios were available under the $2,000 price range. If a host were to rent a one bedroom apartment with a monthly rent of $2,635 (which amounts to $31,656 annually), they would have to charge well over the $194 average price per night for Los Angeles (which amounts to $23,280 per year) according to analytics platform AllTheRooms.

Either way, residents who rent one of these Airbnb friendly apartments still have to apply for a permit through the City of Los Angeles in order to host on Airbnb.

“[..Airbnb-friendly buildings] seems like a good initiative. However, from a quick look, it seems that given the rent, Airbnb revenue wouldn’t be enough to cover all expenses if the host follows the city’s policy,” says Davide Proserpio, assistant professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business.

In addition, since L.A.’s 120-day cap on short-term rentals still applies to the buildings on Airbnb’s listing platform, that greatly limits the number of longer-term guests a resident can host. Not to mention, some of the buildings that Airbnb lists have even shorter limits – The Milano Lofts in DTLA for example only allows residents to host 90 nights a year.

Airbnb’s calculations of host earnings may be greatly misleading as well, given that the estimate doesn’t include host expenses, taxes, cleaning fees or individual building restrictions. For example, Airbnb estimates that a resident of a $3,699 one bedroom apartment at the Vinz in Hollywood that hosts 7 nights a month can expect $1,108 a month in revenue if they host year-round. But the Vinz only allows hosts to rent 90 days a year, which greatly limits the potential for subletters and a consistent income stream.

Keep in mind too that since the apartment will have to serve as the host’s “primary residence”, hosts will have to live there six months out of the year. All of which is to say, it’s unclear how renting an apartment in an “Airbnb-friendly” building makes hosting easier — especially in a city where illegal short-term rentals already seem to be the norm.

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The Streamys Reveals The Disconnect Between Online Creators and Traditional Media

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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