After a contentious year debating the matter, the Beverly Hills school board seems poised to cut about 10 percent of its student population — outsiders on a permit program that would be phased out. To say that it has taken from the rich and given to the poor is somewhat of an overstatement. The district for years has taken from the state and given to the arguably not-as-rich students from outside its borders.
The state has changed its funding formula so that the district is no longer fully compensated for each outside-the-district pupil, taking away the incentive the city had to embrace hundreds of students from outside the district, many of them Korean-American. The plan would eventually phase out 484 in the 4,891-student district. It's a bummer for those kids who have found an educational oasis surrounded by the mediocre schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Many of those students live in bordering communities (Beverlywood, Carthay, West Los Angeles) where housing prices are almost as high as those in the Hills, but where the public schools are struggling.
The proposed move has proven to be laden with such emotion on each side that police are planning on staffing the board vote in January. Under the plan, 7th graders from outside the district will be allowed to finish middle school and 10th graders on up will be allowed to finish high school.
The district will also continue to educate about 291 students whose parents work for the district or city or whose grandparents are city residents and district alumni. Meanwhile, a group of outside-the-district parents have asked the county to intervene in the cutoff.
[More from the Associated Press].