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California Middle School Faces Budget Cuts Because Too Many Students Are White

March 28, 2017

Parents have become outraged as a North Hollywood school is facing budget cuts due to a high white student body percentage.

Walter Reed Middle School is facing layoffs as well as increased class sizes because there are is too high of a percentage of students in the school that are white, KABC reported.

Parents received a letter from the Los Angeles Unified School District noting that schools where the white population is below 30 percent receive additional funding. The letter said that their school has been above that line for several years.

“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,’” Local District Northeast Superintendent Linda Del Cueto wrote 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.”

Del Cueto’s letter added that in order to limit the budget cuts, they will be restructuring and allocating funds based on the number of students are at the school.

“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,” she added. “Under this model, Reed will retain more teachers than originally anticipated and discussed at the March 15, 2017 community meeting.”

Despite the restructuring, several teachers will still lose their job and class sizes will be increasing.

“Thankfully we’re going to keep our librarian,” Sheila Edmiston, one parent of a student at the school, told KABC. “We’re going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought.”