If Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) is an excellent school district, if it’s why so many of us moved to this little village within a metropolis, then shouldn’t we strive to share our high-quality education with more students and their families?
Senate Bills 9 and 10 have been signed by the governor. These will allow the parts of town that were previously exclusionary to house many more people, including families with school age children (exclusionary means it was impossible for many, if not most people to buy or rent in these neighborhoods, because there were too few units, they were on huge lots and they were too expensive). This, without a doubt, does mean CCUSD will be welcoming a growing population of students, perhaps well beyond the 7000-ish we’ve educated for almost the last two decades. And what a joy it will be to produce even more stewards of the earth, citizens of this great world, changemakers, scholars, friends.
However, some folks have expressed reasonable concern about our school facilities and their capacity for a growing student body. Indeed, 62% of our structures are more than 50 years old. Even without a growing population, we are in dire need. How will we ever support enhancements and new construction? Well, we won’t be able to without money. But with development comes funding for school modernization and building (a little more than $4 per residential square foot and a little less than $1 per commercial square foot. Both developer fee rates are set to increase in 2022). As our town, that has been at a stagnant population of 40K for the last 30 years slowly grows (thanks to these new senate bills as well as local, regional and statewide advocacy), so too will the district’s facilities budget get larger to support educating all the babies that come with the new tenants and homeowners (the developer fees will increase even more if our rate of housing construction actually becomes predictive of a rise in population).
So, when you see the fourplex in your neighborhood go up, or even better that 8-unit building close to the train and bus lines, let it please you. These are exciting times for The Heart of Screenland. Those developments will bring children for us to educate and send off to make the world a better place, as well as the dollars we need to do it with!
Dr. Kelly Kent
Governing Board Member, CCUSD
This position is the board member’s, not a reflection of the governing body’s.