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L. A. Schools Deny 4 Transfers, Citing Integration Worries

September 27, 1987|BARBARA BAIRD | Times Staff Writer

Four students who were invited to enroll in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District as part of a well-publicized student recruitment drive have been denied permission to transfer from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The Santa Monica-Malibu district is still waiting to hear the outcome of transfer applications by about 50 students from various districts, including the four who are appealing their cases to the Los Angeles district, officials said.

The Los Angeles district is evaluating each transfer application individually to determine whether it would adversely affect the district's integration efforts, said Henry Jones, the district's division administrator of budget services.

Jackie Goldberg, a member of the Los Angeles Board of Education, called for the stricter transfer policy earlier this year after learning that Santa Monica was recruiting Los Angeles students.

Integration Policy

"We don't want the policy of granting permits for students to leave the district to interfere with our policy promoting integration," she said at the time.

She said the district will refuse transfer requests that would affect the 40% Anglo-60% minority ratio in effect at some schools and 30% Anglo-70% minority ratio in effect at others.

Jones said the Los Angeles district does not keep statistics on how many applications have been refused because of their effect on racial balance.

Of an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 transfer applications the Los Angeles district received from 78 districts, 1,644 were approved, Jones said. The approved transfers include 306 to the Santa Monica-Malibu district, he said.

Transfers are permitted for a variety of reasons, including a need for special education programs, a change in residence or need for child care for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The Los Angeles district in the past has routinely granted requests from working parents who want their children to attend school near where they work to facilitate child-care arrangements.

Of 306 transfers to the Santa Monica-Malibu district, 277 were granted for child-care reasons, Jones said.

The Santa Monica-Malibu district, which has been suffering from declining enrollment and a resulting loss of state funds, conducted a successful campaign to increase enrollment for the 1987-88 school year, according to Rita Esquivel, assistant to the superintendent.

Enrollment Campaign

In the campaign, she said, the district enrolled 285 students from 11 school districts including Los Angeles. The district targeted parents who work in Santa Monica and who need before- and after-school child-care arrangements for their youngsters, she said.

The additional students were expected to bring the district $600,000 in state revenues, she said.

About 230 of the recruited students from the various districts showed up for the start of school on Sept. 9, but 50 had not yet received their transfer permits from their home districts, she said.

Esquivel said that some of permits are being processed by the home districts and are expected to be approved. "We continue daily to receive new permits," she said Tuesday.

Esquivel said four Los Angeles parents, all Anglo, told her their children have been refused transfers because of the Los Angeles district's concern about racial balance in the home schools.

Appeal Planned

Those parents plan to appeal their cases to a three-person committee in the Los Angeles district, she said. If the committee turns them down, they can appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Education, she said.

Students will be allowed to attend Santa Monica-Malibu schools until they have exhausted the appeals process, she said.

Esquivel said that no racial statistics were kept on the transfer applicants from Los Angeles. The students were recruited only on the basis of child-care needs of parents who work in Santa Monica and Malibu, she said.

Partly as a result of the recruitment program, she said, "we are a growing district, no longer a declining district." The district's current enrollment is about 9,500, compared to about 9,300 at the close of the 1986-87 school year, officials said.

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