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LAUSD's Building Blocks

January 19, 2002

Carol Lynn Mithers' "LAUSD's Building Fantasy" (Opinion, Jan. 13) is one example of the incompetence of Supt. Roy Romer, his predecessors and the rest of the LAUSD's leadership when it comes to running and building schools. Another example: San Pedro High School, a school that is probably treated better than most. Over the past 10 years, the district has added bungalow after bungalow to the campus until there is literally room for no more. There are no more open spaces outside of the athletic field and no student parking lot. The employee parking lot is far too small to accommodate the hundreds of employees. We local residents can no longer park in front of, or even near, our own houses during a school day.

Does the increased capacity--3,600 students on a campus originally designed for 1,800--help the local community? Hardly. The district simply buses in students from other areas, causing even more of a traffic problem for residents, adding to local pollution levels and forcing teachers to move from room to room during the day, since there are still not enough classrooms for the teachers required for the increased enrollment. All of this was done without an environmental impact report, as the district simply added only a certain number of bungalows per year so as to not trigger the requirement.

The district refuses to admit there is a problem, and even local board member Mike Lansing has been silent on the issue. In the meantime, the campus looks awful, the list of improvements for Proposition BB has disappeared (even though things like air conditioning were promised but not installed) and we have been told by district representatives that absolutely nothing will be done.

It is time for Romer to be held responsible for the mess he both inherited and created. He was hired to turn things around, yet all we have to show for it is expensive cluster offices with less local control than ever before. And our "reform" board members? Don't even start.

Richard Wagoner

San Pedro


LAUSD reminds me of a parent trying to feed 100 siblings with a gallon of milk. There's just not enough to go around. Until the district is broken up, those parents thinking of sending their children to an LAUSD school might do best to think of it as a co-op. LAUSD provides some buildings, some salaries and some standards, but parents had better expect to do the rest themselves.

M.R. Varah

Los Angeles

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