The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest public school system after NYC. More than 700,000 students and 45,500 teachers under its jurisdiction was the record of recent; however, due to the economy downfalls, budget cuts across the state and the nation has left the schools with no option but to lay off many teachers and/or cut off their hours. The LAUSD has had its share of bad press for its overcrowded schools and poor funding issues as of late, but there is progress being made and there are many distinguished schools with high scores and such to prove it within the district. All schools admit students of any ethnicity background and LAUSD is one of the school district with the widest variety of student ethnicities with Spanish speaking group being the majority. The LAUSD website lists all schools and test scores, for the public to view and compare (http://www.lausd.net).
The higher ranked schools in the district may have waiting lists, but they are well worth them. The LAUSD Choices program gives parents the option to choose any school in the district through open enrollment, making it possible for one to go across town for better schooling without residential restrictions. Application forms are available at local district offices and in Los Angeles Public Libraries across the city. Applications should be submitted sometime in the beginning of January and you must be a resident of the Los Angeles school district at the time of application. There are other programs and opportunities that are described in detail online at http://echoices.lausd.net.
All public schools are funded by the taxpayers of the state of California and no tuition fees are collected from the students; although some incidental fees maybe collected for materials and/or field trips time to time. Many schools are welcoming school supply donations from the parents and communities Lunches are available for low cost for those who choose to buy them at the school cafeteria. For many years, schools lunches were questionable for their high calorie contents and poor nutritional values; however, the system seems to be improving with more health conscious effort.
To be admitted to one of the schools, parents are asked to fill out the school’s application form and provide proof of address (utility bills, etc) as well as the child’s immunization card. Check with the specific school when picking up the application package.
Some of the best schools:
Community Magnet Charter Elementary School – National Blue Ribbon School
11301 Bellagio Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90049
Celerity Troika Charter School – One of Southern California’s most distinguished schools.
1495 Colorado Blvd ., Los Angeles, CA 90041
Clover Avenue Elementary School – Part of the LEARN program that encourages parent interaction and involvement.
11020 Clover Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Crescendo Charter Conservatory School – Emphasis on art, music, and creativity as part of full time learning.
4900 South Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90062
Fairburn Avenue Elementary School – Four hundred students. End of year test scores are among the highest in the district.
1403 Fairburn Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024