Out of Control Policy Blog

Los Angeles Unified to Restrict School Transfers and School Choice

Los Angeles will deny students transfers to other surrounding school districts like Culver City and Torrance so LAUSD can keep the per pupil funding.

Culver City, Santa Monica-Malibu and Las Virgenes are three of the districts that will be hardest hit by LAUSD's decision this week to rein in its liberal inter-district permit policy, which this school year released more than 12,200 city students to surrounding districts at a loss of $51 million in state funding. . . .

In Culver City, more than 1,000 permit students from LAUSD would be affected by the new policy, about 15 percent of the district's enrollment of 6,700, Cote said. The district would lose about $5.7 million in state funds. . . .

Torrance Unified School District stands to lose the most students — it takes in about 1,700 students from Los Angeles, more than 8 percent of district's enrollment, said district spokeswoman Tammy Khan. Khan said it was premature to say what effect it would have on the district.

Why do students need permission from the district they are leaving? As long as a school district is willing to accept the student, the student shouldn't have to have permission to leave a district. True open enrollment policies would have the state education dollars follow the child to the state school he chooses. School funding is already centralized and the money should follow the child to any district just like if the child was enrolling in a charter school. End residential requirements for school enrollment. LAUSD should have to compete with Culver City and Torrance. They shouldn't have a lock on a student's education dollars.

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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