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L.A. school board to discuss permit policy

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday will consider amending a new policy that limits the ability of students who live in the district to attend school elsewhere, a contentious issue expected to draw scores of parents to the afternoon meeting.

In February, Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines moved to limit the types of permits issued to families seeking attendance in other districts, allowing exemptions only for students whose parents work within the boundaries of the other school district and for students who would complete fifth, eighth or 12th grades next year.

Last year, L.A. Unified granted permission to more than 12,200 students to enroll in 99 other districts, including Torrance, Culver City and Santa Monica-Malibu. Cortines estimates that the district is losing $51 million in state per-pupil funding, money that could help to close a $640-million budget shortfall.

Families are able to appeal permit denials to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. But many parents are mounting an aggressive campaign to persuade L.A.’s school board to scuttle or modify Cortines’ policy revision. They argue that they should be allowed to seek better schools no matter where and complain that the announcement came too late for them to apply to magnet and charter schools.

Board members Steve Zimmer and Tamar Galatzan support the superintendent's plan to allow students in the fifth and eighth grades to continue at their schools, but the board members are proposing that all high school students remain in their schools of choice until graduation.

Hundreds of parents are expected to attend a rally before the scheduled 1 p.m. meeting at the school board’s downtown office.

Some districts that have enrolled L.A. Unified  students have argued that permit students should not be forced out and have complained that they, too, are being shortchanged.

-- Carla Rivera

Comments () | Archives (10)

Why should parents get to choose which public school to send their child to? Their kids are supposed to go to the neighborhood school so that certificated and classified staff jobs are protected. The nerve of these parents to want to live in Los Angeles but send their kids to school elsewhere. Don't you realize your child is $8,300 worth of a job to someone? We cannot support the 100,000 plus jobs at LAUSD and the collective bargaining units of the district if we continue to allow parents to choose to send their kids to Torrance or Santa Monica or for that matter a charter school. Keep them kids locked into the school they are supposed to be at. Good Job Cortines!

I'd like to know just how those other districts are being shortchanged? Santa Monica-Malibu stands to lose 40 teachers next year, which will greatly increase class sizes. If those permit students are removed from the classroom, maybe the loss of all those teachers won't be as severe. Maybe there will still be a manageable teacher-student ratio.

$51MM/640MM= 8%. Is Cortines an alum of the LAUSD or something? How does he "help" close the budget shortfall by implementing his proposed amendment? Seems immaterial.

Having said that, I do agree that LAUSD needs a stronger sense of the "community school" concept. If you implement the district transfer amendment, implement a ban on busing students across town to attend a different school within the LAUSD. I know kids in the East San Fernando Valley that get bused to Woodland Hills. Talk about an unnecessary expense.

These kids should be forced to attend their neighborhood school, even if it is underperforming and is robbing them of a good education.

They are an $8,300 head of livestock, not our future. The bad policies of the Board and the greed of the teachers union is what got the schools in this situation, and it's what will get them out of it too.

Heck, I think we should not allow kids to attend private schools either! That's $8,300 each time one of them leave! Maybe we can implement a "freedom" charge if someone wants to attend any school outside of the LA district, private or not.

Parents need to realize that just because other school districts do a better job doesn't mean their kids should benefit from it.

Remember, this is $51,000,000 that will go back into the budget...and 12,000 students that will be back "where they belong"...So the classes will be a little bigger. Big deal.

I can that the some of the posts are by people who don't have kids. If you had kids of your own, you would NOT be making such comments. A parent would want the best for their children, and would understand other parents want the same thing.

If they do have kids, they are obviously happy about the prospect of keeping hispanic/black kids locked up in LAUSD.

I'm having trouble with the math....please help.

$51 million divided by 12,200 students is $4,180 per student.

According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, the proposed funding per student for the 08-09 school year was $6,018 from the State General Fund. Plus an additional $2,351 from Local Property Tax revenue, plus another $3,258 from other sources (including local funds) for a total of $11,626 per student.

That was what was proposed for the 08-09 year. That said, let's say these numbers are reasonably close to this years actual numbers (I couldn't find them) and now let's just focus of the $8,368 from the State General Fund and the Property Tax.

$8,368 x 12,200 is $102,089,600. That's about twice what Cortines said they lost in State per pupil funding.

If we just look at the $6,018 from the General fund, it's $73,419,600. Still $22 million off the mark.

Am I correct in concluding that the $51 Million Cortines is speaking about is the difference between what LAUSD will spend on the 12,200 students and what the will receive in funding?

In other words, is LAUSD only planning to spend about half of the State funding on the 12,200 students that are forced back to LAUSD schools, while the rest is going to offset other revenue shortfalls?

Does someone closer to this issue have some numbers they can share and explain?

Well as long as horrible teachers are protected at the expense of student achievement and taxpayer dollars, all will remain right with the toxic waste dump that is LAUSD.

I love rc cortines' comment. Very funny. Parents who work in La Canada, Culver City or Santa Monica should be supported in having their kids near them. It's just the right thing to do. But there is truth to the "community school" concept. Everyone else who works locally, should return their children to their home school. It would be politically correct. In truth, there are highly qualified teachers teaching at the neighborhood schools. Children of lesser means should benefit from the modeling of and socialization with those children of moderate to higher means who may conincidentally be higher functioning.

In truth, the way it is today, parents whose homes correspond to LAUSD schools and who are of higher means choose private schools instead of the home school as they are motivated by, first and foremost, "like-minded" parents and families whose socio-economic backgrounds, educational attainment and values, and/or lifestyles are similar. It's what I observe...and I bet the research supports that.

For parents, enrolling their children in schools where children of dissimilar backgrounds, ethnic, economic, cultural, and lifestyle, it is a daunting thought as most parents believe that individual family values will be negatively influenced by their counterparts with less refinement, know-how, and parental support. Is this correct?

If the school district returned to tracking children, that is, put high achieving children together and those that need remedial assistance separately, would parents continue to opt out of the LAUSD public school system or would they have greater faith in the system?

I'm tired of the judgement calls made by people out of our classrooms who "think" they know what's going on. First,Bob you act like the district is full of "horible" teachers. This is not true. Most of the teachers in this district are great teachers. Test scores mean nothing. They do not reflect a teachers ability but what was learned. This assumption that all kids will learn what is presented is a fallacy. One other thing is shown by test scores, that people in good neighborhoods will score higher than kids in a poor area. Teachers have nothing to do with this difference. It has to do with the parents and what they can give their kids in terms of knowledge. Poor kids get less than kids in middle class areas. This is a fact.

Students should attend their local school. Parents who are not satisfied with the school should move or work to improve the local school. I teach for LAUSD but reside in Santa Clarita in order to take advantage of the schools there. The revised policy of the district should stand. At the same time, the school's community should be empowered to remove chronically disruptive students and place them into an alternative educational environment that better meets their needs - such as military or trade school.


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