Activities & Resources
LAUSD Interdistrict Permit Policy Change 20101518in Los Angeles, CA
about LAUSD Interdistrict Permit Policy Change 2010:
UPDATE: Permits applications are currently being accepted online.
A parents group has created an online petition which those affected by this policy, or simply in support of affected families, are encouraged to sign.
As of March 23, 2010 it has been confirmed that potential amendments to the policy described below are to be considered at the April 6 LAUSD school board meeting.
Most Southland school districts are scrambling to find ways to close this year's enormous and unprecedented budget gaps. Los Angeles Unified School District, the state's largest school district, recently announced a highly contentious way of recouping some of those funds: LAUSD plans to eliminate some 12,000 interdistrict permits for the coming academic year, 2010-2011.
What this means in practical terms for the parents of those 12,000+ students is that, while schools in other districts may still welcome them with open arms, LAUSD will not issue the required exit permits releasing them from the "home" schools. A student who lives in Mar Vista but attends school in Culver City is expected to withdraw from the Culver City school and attend the neighborhood school as of September 2010.
For years, these interdistrict permits have been a mere formality; any student receiving a place in another school district - whether it be for reasons of curriculum, convenience, sibling connections, or continuity - has been granted an exit permit from LAUSD. This year, the families of students who "permit out" of their neighborhood schools in favor of another district have an unpleasant surprise awaiting them when they apply for renewal.
Superintendent Ramon Cortines has announced that exceptions will be made only for pupils entering the last year of a school (i.e. fifth, eighth, or twelfth grade) or for parents who work in the city of the desired school district (as mandated by law).
The new application for interdistrict permits will be available starting April 15. Information about the new process and requirements is available by contacting Melissa Schoonmaker at LAUSD's Office of Permits and Student Transfers.
Although this policy has been implemented by the superintendent, many parents are hoping that the LAUSD Board of Education will get involved and mitigate some of the fallout for families and students.
Another question is whether the county school board will weigh in since, as the Santa Monica Daily Press points out, the proposed policy - particularly on such short notice - has the potential to hurt several schools in other districts. Torrance, for example, has 2,200 LAUSD permit students, according to the Daily Breeze, and stands to lose 80% of them under this new policy. A last minute change of this magnitude, after other districts have made their staffing plans for next year, is a big deal - and a big worry to teachers.
Ironically, the Daily News has reported that LAUSD has handed pink slips to 5,200 teachers and other staff, leaving the question of how the district intends on supporting more than 10,000 new students. Parents of language immersion pupils attending schools in Santa Monica, Culver City, and Glendale are particularly concerned, since their children are not likely to be able to join an English-dominant school mid-stream without extra staff support.
The Daily Breeze also reports that "the county plans to double the number of staff working on appeals" as a result of this policy change. It seems that the $50 million LAUSD aims to bring into its own district could be happening at the expense of many other public entities.
If you have new information or action points about this situation to share with other parents, please post in the comments section below - or visit our message board to continue to conversation with other parents.