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VALLEY ROUNDUP | North Hollywood

Hearing Rescheduled on LAUSD Breakup

March 14, 2000|KRISTINA SAUERWEIN

The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization has rescheduled its third public hearing on breaking up the Los Angeles Unified School District to March 22.

Originally, the meeting was to have been held Monday, but a spokeswoman for the county committee cited logistical reasons for changing the date.

The hearing at Walter Reed Middle School will help the 11-member committee, an independent elected body, make a recommendation to the State Board of Education on whether to establish two 100,000-student school systems in the San Fernando Valley.

Ultimately, the state board would decide whether to call an election.

The committee held two meetings in the Valley this month but decided to hold another because of high attendance and the issue's importance, officials said.

Ninety minutes will be allotted for public presentations, with 45 minutes each for proponents and opponents. Each speaker will be limited to a maximum of five minutes, and speakers are encouraged to arrive early to sign in.

Those who need interpreters should call (562) 940-1645 at least three days before the meeting. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the school, 4525 Irvine Ave.

The breakup proposal recently submitted to the education committee by Finally Restoring Excellence in Education calls for two school districts with a boundary roughly along Roscoe Boulevard.

The Valley would be divided into northern and southern halves.

To begin the process of breaking up L.A. Unified, which has 711,000 students, FREE was required by state law to collect validated signatures from 8% of the residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Needing 20,808 signatures, FREE collected 20,962.

Under state law, the county committee must ensure that the proposed districts will not substantially increase costs to the state or promote racial or ethnic discrimination or segregation, among other factors.

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