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Year-Round Schools in L.A.

December 18, 1986

Your editorial in support of year-round schools was a major disappointment. The bureaucrats are constantly finding stop-gap measures to cover their ineptitude and the concept of year-round schools is just another example. Not only does it do nothing to alleviate the problem of a substandard educational system, it puts a great inconvenience on the family unit and exposes our children to unhealthy conditions. You prove that yourself when you mention, "It also would keep children and teachers in sweltering classrooms in the summer."

The school board showed wisdom in voting to shelve the matter until proper studies can be made regarding the health and well-being of children who are subjected to unair-conditioned bus rides and classrooms. This will also allow parents, teachers and the school board members to understand the impact of a year-round school and how the system will affect all of them. What steps will be taken to ensure that children from the same family will get the same schedule? How will this affect the burgeoning neighborhood school involvement? Will children from the same neighborhood be on the same schedule, to avoid interrupting growing friendships?

By your estimation, the plan would remedy overcrowding. At what costs? The cost of more families leaving the school system entirely. We are tired of the simpletons in government using our children as pawns in a numbers game. The schools are overcrowded, yes! We need more schools, not a new way to shuffle students around. We need to examine the 70-30 racial quota. A "neighborhood school" with an ethnic balance of 50-50 or 60-40 may not need to be disturbed. The ethnic makeup of the school should reflect the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood. To do anything else reeks of reverse discrimination. We need a school board responsive to the needs of our children, not their own political goals. At this time, only one member of the school board has children in Los Angeles Public Schools. It is not enough to just find answers--they must be the right answers!

If the year-round proposal passes, our children will not be a part of the Los Angeles School System. We will enroll them in private schools, if we can afford it, or, if not, move out of the city. A third possibility would be for individual areas to secede from Los Angeles and create their own school boards. If enough families bail out of the school system, it will certainly alleviate overcrowding.

Regardless of the school board's thoughts on this matter, it is way too important to be decided upon by seven people. A total restructuring of the school schedule potentially affects many people. It is an issue that should be voted on by the electorate of Los Angeles.

KATHY and STEVE FISHER

Sherman Oaks

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