We would like to respond to Sam Hall Kaplan's concerns (May 5) regarding Los Angeles Unified School District's planning process in identifying neighborhoods as sites for new or expanded schools.
He stated that "the District has yet to turn in its homework on how it came up with the projected increase of 75,578 students to justify the new and expanded schools. . . ."
The district was responsible for doing an in-house student enrollment projection study and contracted with our demographic and economic consulting firm, Criterion Inc., to conduct an independent student enrollment projection study.
Criterion's study involved several months of meticulous research and analysis of the demographic processes within Los Angeles County served by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
We worked very closely with the county Department of Health Services, which has developed a demographic projection model by census tract. Our data came from a variety of sources.
The trends outlined in our enrollment projections for the next 10 years were consistent with the results of the school district's in-house study. It is worth reiterating that the district is already experiencing overcrowded schools and has responded to this problem (in the short-term) by adopting year-round schedules.
Criterion Inc. can assure you, Mr. Kaplan, that the district did not "hastily draw up the necessary maps and staple the arbitrary statistics to them. . . ." We have provided them with documentation that follows standard demographic methodology that will help to play a role in the district's decision-making process.
Schlesinger is vice president, and Mueller, project manager , of Criterion Inc.