LAUSD takes back its students

Manhattan Beach students who live in Los Angeles will not be allowed to return to their Manhattan schools next year. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced last month that it will no longer release students living within its bounds to other districts.

The number of Manhattan Beach students living in LAUSD who will be ineligible for out-of-district permits next year represents $544,336 in revenue for Manhattan.

“If you take the numbers away, it will have an impact our revenue,” said Ellyn Schneider, Executive Director of Student Services for MBUSD. “But it also has an impact on our students who are forced to change and enter a new school in the middle of their school experience. I’m concerned about that.”

Only students of parents who work for another district and students with “senior status” — those who will enter 5th, 8th or 12th grade in the fall — will be eligible for out-of-district permits from LAUSD next year. Of MBUSD’s students living in LA, 37 will have senior status. That exemption will not be allowed after next year, according to Schneider.

MBUSD has 165 students who live in LA, representing approximately 20 percent of MBUSD’s out-of-district students, Schneider said. The LA students accounted for $863,610 of MBUSD’s revenue this year.

Last year, LAUSD released 12,249 students to neighboring districts and received 1,931 students from other districts, according to a statement from LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines last month. By restricting permits, LAUSD plans to recover roughly 80 percent of students living within their boundaries and $51 million in revenue.

“In order to retain our students, maintain enrollment and revenue, I have directed the Office for Permits and Student Transfers to restrict the types of outgoing out-of-district permits,” Cortines said.

For years, parents and students in LA City have been attracted to higher quality educational programs outside of their district, including MBUSD’s, whose students ranked fifth in the state on last year’s API scores.

“We have made great strides in improving the educational options for students who reside within the boundaries of our district,” Cortines said.

Two weeks ago, the MBUSD school board was forced to shave $1.5 million from next year’s $50 million budget. Pink-slips were sent out to 24 district employees, including 19 teachers, according to MBUSD’s director of Human Resources Kathy Hall.  A $4.1 million donation from the Manhattan Beach Educational Foundation saved roughly 35 teaching positions and a number of non-teaching positions.

“All districts are concerned about their fiscal impacts right now,” Schneider said.

MBUSD will continue to enroll students from other districts.

“We are obviously very proud of our district and will talk about the excellence found here and welcome anyone interested in seeking appropriate relief from their district,” Schneider said.

Parents of out-of-district students from LA can request an exception policy from the district. If denied, they can appeal to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. ER


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