According to KABC-TV Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood is facing layoffs and increased class sizes due to budget cuts. The reason for the budget cuts?
Too much of the student body is white.
The Los Angeles Unified School District provides increased funding for schools so long as that school has a white attendance of only 30 percent. According to a letter from the district to the parents, the school’s white population had been above that level for the past couple of years.
The rule itself is due to an imposition from a court ruling dating all the way back to 1970 that was originally designed to prohibit segregation in schools. Now, it effectively punishes schools for having too many white students.
“A school qualifies for PHBAO status if 70 percent or more of its students who live within the school’s attendance boundary are identified as ‘Hispanic, Black, Asian, or non-Anglo,’” said Local District Northeast Superintendent Linda Del Cueto in a letter to parents. “Under a court-ordered integration program that has been in place since 1978, PHBAO schools qualify for smaller class sizes and additional positions. When a school no longer qualifies for PHBAO status, fewer positions are funded.”
In order to stop the bleeding, the school is going to try to change the spending formula to one based on the number of students. There will still be cuts to the budget, but at least some of the school’s jobs will be saved. Regardless, class sizes are still set to grow.
“In order to maintain continuity of instructional services to students and families within demographic and budgetary realities, the District researched alternative funding models and has identified Reed as a ‘per-pupil spending model’ school,” wrote Del Cueto. “Under this model, Reed will retain more teachers than originally anticipated and discussed at the March 15, 2017 community meeting.