When we made the decision to move, it was based on quite a few factors. LAUSD offered:
- a small-community feel with large-district course offerings and opportunities for students
- intimate elementary schools tucked into the neighborhoods so our kids could walk to school
- community pride in school sports and activities
- the potential for our kids to make life-long friends because of the tendency for Los Al graduates to return “home” to raise their own families
- well-educated parents who prioritize education and college attendance
- involved parents and volunteers all working towards a common goal
We ended up with two kids, and both of our kids have attended Los Al schools since Kindergarten. What we’ve found in the last seven years is:
- more than 30% of their classrooms year-over-year have been made up of inter-district transfer students
- a growing fear of my children being unable to play high school sports because of the sheer number of students trying out for limited spots
- my kids are making friends with kids outside of the neighborhood, limiting their ability to simply “go outside to play”
- increased traffic inside our intimate neighborhoods, perpetuating even more traffic because neighborhood parents don’t want their children in potential danger from speeding cars
- over-crowded schools
- increased fundraising requests to help pay for more programs for more children
I decided to check out the California Ed Code. What are districts legally able to offer and restrict with regard to inter-district transfers?
“Policies regarding …inter-district/reciprocal agreement transfers are the responsibility of each local district governing board and are not within the jurisdiction of the California Department of Education. Each local district governing board has ultimate authority over general education processes such as district transfers. Parents/guardians shall work with their local school district administration to share their concerns and to determine what local processes their district has in place regarding district transfers.”
I initially believed a school district was required to offer a free and public education to all students. Turns out this is only true of your own in-district kids.
“California law requires school districts to provide an education to any student who resides within the district’s attendance area. Although students have the right under California law to a free, public education, the law does not guarantee that a student can attend the school of his or her choice, or even the neighborhood school.”
Our own district kids may not be able to attend their own neighborhood school? This gets me thinking about the inter-district transfers again. Could it be true that in addition to the challenges I’ve been experiencing the past seven years, we also have been filling seats with transfer students and displacing our own district kids?
I’d like to see our district return to the small-community district I know it has been in the past and can be again. I want to see our local children get first-right-of-refusal for participation in athletics, activities, academic courses, and the arts. I am ready to eliminate the inter-district transfer students.
Will we see financial repercussions?
Is it worth taking a close look at our options, thinking outside the box, and re-evaluating our district priorities?
Who’s with me?