In this special back-to-school episode of "Inside the Issues," host Alex Cohen sat down with several guests to discuss what it will look like to return to the classroom this school year amid a pandemic. 

Los Angeles Unified School District pediatrician and parent Dr. Smita Malhotra explained why classrooms are some of the safest places for kids to attend right now. Even with the rise of the delta variant, she said the combination of testing and vaccination requirements, masking mandates and increased ventilation create a safe, healthy environment for children to learn. 

Kyle Stokes, an education reporter for KPCC and the LAist, outlined Gov. Gavin Newsom's new requirement for all teachers and school employees to get vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. He also discussed the changes coming to LAUSD schools this year, including daily check-ins, on-campus mask requirements and the protocols in place if COVID-19 outbreaks do occur on campus.

Nazie Morovati, an LAUSD parent who's part of the California Students United Group, expressed her frustrations with online learning after seeing her daughter's education suffer throughout the pandemic. 

Tyrone Howard, a professor of education and the faculty director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA, discussed the broader impacts COVID-19 has had on education, particularly the benefits of online learning for some kids. Currently, more than 2% of children enrolled in Los Angeles Unified are opting to learn this fall semester remotely.

Click the arrow above to watch the conversations.

Let "Inside the Issues" know your thoughts and watch at 8 and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1.