LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — Parents in Lakewood are frustrated after the Long Beach Unified School District has decided to close another school.
This story has 2 updates
James Monroe Elementary School, a small but very popular school, is the latest casualty of budget cuts. At the end of this school year, it will shut its doors for good.
The school district voted unanimously to close the school at a board meeting on Tuesday night. It’s the seventh school the district has closed since 2008.
Superintendent Chris Steinhauser says the alternative would have been drastic cuts to programs across the district.
James Monroe has 655 students from kindergarten through 8th grade, making it the smallest of Long Beach’s K-8 schools.
The district says closing the school will save about $2.7 million per year.
Long Beach Unified is looking to trim about $20 million from its budget in all.
The board also approved cutting grades six through eight at David Burcham K-8 School, which is expected to save $800,00 annually.
Steinhauser said that no jobs will be eliminated becasue of the cuts.
Students attending Monroe or Burcham will get a letter in the coming days with more information on the board’s vote and selecting a new school.
The Monroe school boundaries will be integrated into the Cleveland Elementary and Bancroft Middle schools’ boundaries.
But parents will also have first priority to send their children to any school in the district, if space is available.
Still, many parents are upset about the decision. They say they weren’t given a chance to voice suggestions that might have helped avoid the closure.
Some also say they moved to the neighborhood specifically so their children could attend the same school through eighth grade close to their homes.
According to the district, Monroe and Burcham have low numbers of neighborhood students.
Monroe, which was opened in 1953, has just 162 from its immediate neighborhood, according to district officials.
At Burcham, only 55 of the school’s 186 students in grades six through eight live within the school neighborhood.
It remains to be seen what will happen to the Monroe facility. Among the proposals are using it to house the district’s 17-person Personnel Commission.