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LAUSD WITHDRAWS PROPOSAL TO PAY TO PLAY AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

NEWSLETTER SPRING 2005

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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has withdrawn a proposal to charge non-profit youth groups to use public school facilities, including playing fields and classrooms. LAUSD may reconsider the proposal in December 2005 or January 2006, but before then LAUSD will seek funding from alternative sources.

The City Project is committed to working with LAUSD to find funding alternatives to keep school facilities free for non-profit organizations that serve at-risk youth. Children of color and low-income children disproportionately live in neighborhoods without places to play in school yards, parks, or their own homes. Fully 87% of LAUSD children are not physically fit. Physical education classes are bloated with up to 75 students, and physical education is not required after the tenth grade. LAUSD staff proposed a $78 fee plus $28 to $42 per hour to use playing fields. Grassroots groups are providing an invaluable service to keep our children and communities healthy and safe. These groups simply do not have the resources to pay to play on their own public school yards. The City Project, Anahuak Youth Soccer Association, the California PTSA, Girl Scouts, American Lung Association, and many others opposed the proposal. The School Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee has called for the release of information for the public to understand the impact of the proposal on all communities.