Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

RECOMMENDATION:

Appoint two Councilmembers to work with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in support of their efforts to receive reimbursement from the State for costs associated with the impacts of Eastview students attending Peninsula schools.

BACKGROUND:

On July 18, 2002 the City Council and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Board met in a workshop session. Among the items discussed was the impact of Eastview students attending Peninsula schools.

School Superintendent Ira Toibin explained that it took special legislation to enable residents of Eastview, which is part of Rancho Palos Verdes, to have the option to attend schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) or in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD). When the legislation was passed, the Peninsula Unified School District had no idea how many students would choose to attend Peninsula schools. We now know that there are approximately 700 to 800 students from Eastview in the Peninsula School District. Eastview parents, whose children attend Peninsula schools, are not permitted to vote for PVPUSD school board members and they pay taxes on a bond that LAUSD passed, but they do not pay taxes on the bond that PVPUSD passed that is being used to modernize the various schools that Eastview residents attend. Superintendent Toibin added that efforts are underway to try and recover some of these costs. At the time the Eastview legislation was passed, it stated that the costs of implementation were State mandated, which should have opened the door for reimbursement. A hearing is scheduled in Sacramento on August 29, 2002, at which the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District will argue to recover costs.

The School Board advised the City Council that it cost a million dollars to open Dapple Gray Elementary School and the District is spending one-half million dollars a year on special education for Eastview children. In four or five years when the two current high schools are full to capacity, the Eastview students will require the District to add more portable classrooms or to acquire a third high school. The Board concluded that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District is only beginning to see the financial implications of this mandate and expressed their belief that if things donít change, the financial outlook in the next four to five years will be worse. The Board also mentioned that if there is any further development or any rebuilding in Eastview, the developer fees will go to LA city schools and that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District will not receive any of those funds.

Mayor McTaggart stated that this is something that this City Council could support and be present to represent the Cityís interest in the Cityís students being treated fairly and the school districtís students being treated fairly. Mayor McTaggart noted there was consensus to support the school board, be it legislation, lobbying.

DISCUSSION:

Although there appeared to be a consensus that the City Council would support the School District, there was no specific action on how to proceed. The City Council may wish to consider appointing two Councilmembers to act as liaison with the School Board in providing whatever assistance may be needed.

Respectfully submitted,
Les Evans,
City Manager