RE “Beverly Hills school board to vote on budget,” June 21 issue
Thank you for Mr. Harold’s continued excellent coverage of the issues concerning the Beverly Hills School Board dilemma and the impact of decreasing enrollment on their budget.
In these times of corporate and economic disruption, it is quite clear that with the demographics of the city of Beverly Hills changing over this past decade, the usual bureaucratic budgetary gimmicks no longer will be successful. The dilemma that the Future Focused Schools Team faced and the leaders of the city have to address is how to maintain high quality education with ample electives and activities with a decreasing middle and high school population living in the city.
There are nine zip codes that surround the city of Beverly Hills, including the cities of West Hollywood, Century City, “Beverly Hills adjacent” [communities] and numerous hillside areas that currently do not have high quality middle schools to send their children. Demographers predict decreasing numbers in those communities as well.
My disruptive suggestion to save the K-8, as well as Beverly Hills High, would be to open their schools to sixth to 12th graders who live in those zip codes. The Beverly Hills School Board would gain more state revenue and I predict that most of the parents currently living in those areas who are sending their kids to private schools would generously donate to support special programs in their kids’ adopted public schools.
Dr. Howard C. Mandel
board member of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education and resident of Hancock Park