The governor has signed a bill that will reimburse the Long Beach Unified School District for $5.2 million in voluntary desegregation costs incurred during the 1984-85 school year. It also assures the district of partial repayment for future costs.
"We should have a check from the state in two or three weeks" for the $5.2 million, said Peter Lippman, the district's budget director and legislative adviser.
The district, which voluntarily established a desegregation program in 1972, has been seeking reimbursement for its expenses for the last several years, Lippman said. But so far the district has succeeded in winning repayment only for the 1983-84 and 1984-85 school years. The 1983-84 funds were allocated in an bill signed by the governor earlier this year.
The latest measure, introduced by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), not only provides Long Beach with funds to cover last year's costs but also sets a ceiling on repayment of future costs. From now on, districts such as Long Beach that desegregate voluntarily will be entitled to reimbursement equal to 80% of their costs in the 1984-85 school year. The repayment will be increased annually with cost-of-living adjustments, Lippman said.