California School Facing Budget Cuts Due To High White Student Percentage

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 29, 04:00 am
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A California school is facing budget cuts because of its high white student percentage. Its teachers and some of the school staff won't have jobs as a result, while larger classes will be scaled down as well.

Walter Reed Middle School, located in North Hollywood in Los Angeles, receives funding from the Los Angeles Unified School District for as long as it retained a 30 percent white student body and 70 percent minority. A court ruling from the 1970s imposed on this rule in response to African American student segregation. In the last two years, however, the school's white population rose in number while its Hispanic, Asian and African-American student percentage dropped.

"Under a court-ordered integration program that has been in place since 1978, PHBAO schools qualify for smaller class sizes and additional positions," Superintendent Linda Del Cueto explained via a letter sent to parents, as per EAG News. "When a school no longer qualifies for PHBAO status, fewer positions are funded," Del Cueto added.

The removal of the school's PHBAO status, which effectively affects the budget, will take place during the 2017-2018 school year. Frustrated parents don't know how this will affect the general student body, regardless of race.

"When your class sizes are getting larger and you're taking resources away from students, I mean as parents, you do want your kid to go out to college," mom Rosemary Estrada said, via ABC 7. Another parent, Sheila Edmiston, however, was more optimistic despite the looming changes because the number of layoffs won't be as many as originally feared.

Local School District East director Sandra Gephart Fontana said there are also ways to save teaching positions if total enrollment for next school year won't change. The school district can consider alternative fixes like using the per pupil model in its spending.

"It will provide additional resources to the school and should ameliorate the loss," Fontana said, per Los Angeles Daily News. "It's not exactly sure how many positions will be preserved by that, but it does provide additional resources."

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