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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

School to Go Year-Round, Add Magnet Program

October 25, 2000

LOS ANGELES — The Board of Education Tuesday agreed to let King Middle School in Silver Lake convert to a year-round calendar next year in exchange for receiving extra funds to start a gifted magnet program.

Like most of the district's middle schools, King is growing so crowded that it faces mandatory adoption of a multitrack calendar, but could have put off the change one or more years.

The district often faces opposition from parents at schools that are being forced onto year-round schedules. The staff and parents at King decided to embrace the change in return for extra funds to start a magnet, which has smaller classes and incurs extra costs to transport students. The money comes from the district's integration program.

Board members praised the school's initiative, and asked the district staff to find out if other schools would be willing to do the same.

"We have said very clearly secondary schools are all going to be year-round," said board member David Tokofsky. "For most communities that is a bitter pill. To figure out ways to lessen the burden of it is a noble goal."

But Ted Alexander, assistant superintendent in charge of the integration program, said there is no money to add more than the five new magnet schools being created this year.

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