Masking decisions are now up to the families of some 450,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students and 60,000 employees.

The teachers’ union approved the new policy earlier this month. The new milestone comes just weeks after Alberto Carvalho took over as the new superintendent and announced his 100-Day Plan.

On this week’s “In Focus SoCal,” Renee Eng sits down with Carvalho to discuss his vision for the nation’s second-largest school district and his priorities for the first year.

“We need to stabilize technology equity for students across LAUSD, and we need to expand choice high-quality options for parents and students across LAUSD. We have a lot of very good options for some students, but they’re not guaranteed for every single student,” Carvalho said.

A recent report found that one-million children across the country fell back into poverty after expanded child tax credits stopped at the end of 2021. The federal aid, up to $300 each month per child, started last July, with the most common item purchased by low and medium-income families being groceries. ​

Most parents reported struggling to find and afford child care during the pandemic, and many had to cut back hours or leave a job.

“In Focus SoCal” heads inside LA’s Best, an after-school enrichment program that serves thousands of elementary school students in schools that have a high concentration of poverty.

Howard Blume, an education reporter for the LA Times, also joins the conversation to talk about the challenges that Carvalho may face in the next year.

“He has to improve the standing of the school district in the community, and make people feel as though things are turning in a positive direction,” Blume said.

Send us your thoughts to and watch at 9 a.m. and noon Sundays.​