Why is the Los Angeles Unified School District Building Schools if Enrollment is Declining?
Rena Perez, Los Angeles Unified School District
Grant Langan, Los Angeles Unified School District
Dave Manuwa, Los Angeles Unified School District
Vincent Maffei, Los Angeles Unified School District
Between 1980 and 2002, Kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) grew by over 208,000 students and only 34,500 seats were built as new permanent facilities. During this time frame, interim measures, like the use of portable classrooms, multi-track calendars, and the involuntary busing of students, were employed to accommodate the growing enrollment. By the mid 1990’s, these measures had become insufficient to meet the continuing demand for additional classroom seats. With the voter approval in 1997 of a local bond for school construction, LAUSD began a capital master planning process that relied heavily on applied demographic analysis and the projections of future school enrollments to determine the need for new facilities. These applied demographic analyses show that the pace of building new schools will not offset these declines for many years, and that there will continue to be schools that are overcrowded despite the current trends of overall declining enrollment.