Out of Control Policy Blog

No Way Out: Community Edition

Its not always just individual families that want to escape a low-performing school district. The Los Angeles Times reports on an entire community desperate to escape. Of course their home district is holding them and their money hostage.

The move also would have meant that Ladera residents no longer would help pay off Inglewood school bonds – although they would have been required to chip in for those in the Culver City district.

Unless Inglewood got enough new homes or other development to make up the difference, Inglewood taxpayers would have had to shoulder more of the burden of paying off the bonds.

Several committee members nonetheless expressed sympathy for the Ladera Heights residents, who said they have tried for years to work with Inglewood to improve the schools before giving up and seeking a better situation for their children.

"I appreciate very much what the Ladera Heights people are trying to achieve," committee member Lloyd de Llamas said. But, he said, he could not vote for a transfer that would shift so much of the property tax base from one district to another.

"I hate to think that education has come down to just being about money," said committee member Frank Bostrom, one of the two "no" votes against rejecting the proposal.

People in Ladera Heights, a largely residential community of about 8,000 people, say they have long been unhappy with the Inglewood schools, citing low test scores and a rate of high turnover in district leadership.

Many send their children to private schools or get permits to let them attend campuses in other districts. According to school district records, fewer than 350 students from Ladera Heights attend Inglewood schools.

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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