The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board unanimously passed a resolution calling on Superintendent Michelle King to immediately allocate resources to process new magnet school applications in a timely manner and to assist interested schools with the process.
Magnet programs are for grades K-12 and offer programs and instruction not available elsewhere in the district. Currently, there are 210 magnet programs serving more than 67,000 students in LAUSD.
While magnet programs have become attractive to students and parents seeking alternative education, the popularity has resulted in long waiting lists for students and schools looking to create programs.
LAUSD board member and resolution sponsor Monica Ratliff cited an example of a school in her district that expressed interest in opening a magnet program. However, due to a backlog of applications, district staff felt they did not have the resources to provide assistance with the application, Ratliff said.
“I authored this resolution to encourage the superintendent to allocate the necessary resources to ensure that schools interested in opening a magnet program receive the appropriate consideration,” Ratliff said. “We should be supporting our school communities when they want to open a magnet program.”
The bill was co-sponsored by board members Ref Rodriguez and Richard Vladovic. Rodriguez said the resolution affirms LAUSD’s commitment to “maintain and develop a portfolio of innovative district programs … in which our most vulnerable students thrive.”
“Magnet programs … have already proven effective in narrowing the opportunity gap our students face,” he said. “Investment now is critical in supporting the success of our students both inside and outside of the classroom.”