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Beverly Hills school board to meet on permits

The Beverly Hills school board is scheduled to vote this evening on the controversial issue of whether to renew special permits for hundreds of  students who live outside the city but are currently enrolled in the city’s public schools.

The permit debate has turned nasty in recent months, with accusations of elitism and freeloading flying between supporters of nonresident students and those who oppose allowing all the permit students to graduate.

Extra security has been ordered for tonight’s board meeting, which will take place at Beverly Hills High School and is expected to draw a large crowd.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District is set to move to a new funding model this year, using residential property tax revenue to pay for schools rather than state aid based on student attendance. Several trustees argue that with the financial incentive gone, Beverly Hills taxpayers should not have to subsidize all 484 permit students until they graduate.

One proposal under consideration would allow seventh-graders to finish middle school and 10th- and 11th-graders to graduate. But that would still mean scores of other students would have to find new schools next fall.

Supporters of those students counter that they should not be treated as commodities and that it would be mean-spirited to disrupt their educations.

-- Carla Rivera

Photo: From left, Joe Sigal, 14, Jackson Proffitt, 11, Jonathan Kupper, 11, Taylor Short, 13, Sarah Short, 10, and Lea and Lucas Dahlke, 8, may be forced out of their Beverly Hills schools next fall. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (6)

While the Beverly Hills situation preceded the current "reform" legislation that promotes interdistrict transfers, it is the first of what will be many angry debates as some kids try to leave lower performing districts for higher achieving ones in neighboring towns.

A recent Times editorial chided Beverly Hills for resorting to a scrooge-like policy, suggesting that under the new legislation the district could get a windfall of about $4500 for each out-of-district pupil accepted. Wrong! If it costs over $6000 per student per year, that means that Beverly Hills will have to subsidize each interdistrict transfer at a cost of over $1500 per pupil. Who gets the remaining $1500 that the state would ordinarily pay to a district in a.d.a.? Nor is there any provision in the recent legislation for construction costs that might be needed in the future because of increased interdistrict enrollments.

This is not a problem that Beverly Hills alone will face. And it is not an issue that will be fought over money alone. Remember the outrage in suburbia - it happened here in Charter Oak - about 30 years ago when frightened suburbanites feared that there would be interdistrict busing, bringing inner city kids to suburban schools? The perceived liberalism of the era disappeared amid the fears of what will happen when "those kids" are transported into our district.

If all those parents who are so unhappy with LAUSD had worked hard to elect a school board that really wanted to "do it for the kids" - the most overused cliche in local politics today - the mess in LAUSD could have been cleared up long ago. But, no, they instead elected board menbers who simply washed their hands of the mess and gave the responsibility for solving it to the mayor, a billionaire with his own personal agenda, and power/profit seeking entrepreneurs running charter schools.


"Supporters of those students counter that they should not be treated as commodities and that it would be mean-spirited to disrupt their educations." Well then, the supporter should pony up tuition for these kids and see if Bev HS buys off on that...

More than likely, the classroom disruptions will dramatically be reduced when the non-BevHills students are sent packing...funny how that works...

whatever they just wanna get all the minorities out of the city, so all that debate about tryna get permits out, they tried it at Santa Monica and that just sounds like something my ex principle Strauss would orchestrate so in my opinion, all that they are trying to say is a sugar code for the truth, which is we dont want minorities at our schools period.

Nothing like exploiting cute kids for a photo.

If you don't live in the school district of the school you desire you shouldn't be able to attend bottom line. Either you move into the area, if it's that important to you; or you get a second job and put your kids in private school. Most people, when choosing where to live, consider the school district, because it's a reflection of the neighborhood. If I'm paying high rents or morgages, it's because I most likely live in a good area. I most certainly wouldn't want to be pay $4000 a month in rent, in an effort to put my kids in a good environment, only to see them go to school with some gangster cholo from East LA. Sorry, I want to go to work and know my kids are safe and getting a good education.

It is so sad how people can kick out a student on a permit when dhe already belongs to a community of friends, teachrs and classmates. Shame on the BHUSD if they kick out permit holders


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