A two-year effort to take Lomita's three schools out of the Los Angeles Unified School District and establish an independent system apparently ended Saturday when only a few people showed up at a City Hall meeting intended to rally support for the move. City Councilman Robert Hargrave, leader of the secessionist group, said the community seems to have lost hope that it can prevail against the giant Los Angeles district.
Last month, the State Board of Education rejected Lomita's appeal to call a secession election. Hargrave's group had argued that Lomita should have its own school system because Los Angeles is too big to give adequate attention to local needs. Los Angeles and state officials contended that a Lomita secession would lead to increased segregation in the district.
"If there had been a strong showing of community support, we would have been encouraged to carry on the fight," Hargrave said. "But I guess most people are discouraged by what seems insurmountable obstacles."
Hargrave said he will try to form a committee that would work with district officials "to make our schools better."