"And my kids, they kind of look forward to seeing me, like I look forward to seeing them.”
For the past 30 years, Los Angeles school bus driver John Lewis always looked forward to a new school year…mainly to catch up with students and check in on their progress throughout the school year.
But this year will be different.
Later this month, over 700,000 students in the Los Angeles United School District will be learning from home remotely, leaving thousands of buses to sit idle in yards.
"It's a real tough time for everyone right now because nobody knows what's going to happen. You know, you can't control what's happening, but you don't know when it's going to be over."
The Union that represents 50,000 workers, including bus drivers, says the state has issued salary protection for school workers.
In the meantime, bus drivers will be reassigned to other duties, like transporting food to sites and electronics to those who lack devices.
Meanwhile, Max Arias, President for SEIU 99 Local Union, says the Los Angeles United School District is preparing to make school buses safe when students return to school, whenever that may be:
"Those buses have been sitting there for a while. You have to prepare those buses, clean those buses. Those buses have to be fitted with screens and made ready to be safe for the students. "
As Los Angeles - the country's second largest school district- gets set for online-only instruction for its students, New York - home to the the largest school district in the country – is preparing for in-person learning. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday said that all school districts in his state, once the epicenter of the nation's COVID-19 crisis, could open for in-person learning in the fall based on New York's current low infection rates of the virus.