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SOUTH BEACH : LAGUNA BEACH

Some Support Heard for Irvine Co. Student Deal

January 16, 1998|LIZ SEYMOUR

For weeks, members of the Laguna Beach Unified School District have endured criticism from parents who have urged the board to forgo a $6.6-million agreement with the Irvine Co. to accept 342 students from new development along Newport Coast.

Even the City Council got involved, asking the board to pursue a boundary transfer so the new homes would sit in the neighboring Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

But on Tuesday, the board received encouragement from a few residents to continue negotiating with the developer. Supporters said the money would help renovate the district's rundown school buildings.

"It would be a real missed opportunity," said resident Cort Kloke. Another resident, Richard Packard, said he felt compelled to speak in favor of the agreement after hearing so much opposition from other parents.

"People are beginning to see that this is not a bad thing," said Steven Rabago, a school trustee. "They see it could be a real positive for the district."

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