Dear Editor – Crowded Schools

Dear Editor:

I am writing about the overcrowding problem in the schools in Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) schools. Culver City High School (CCHS), for example, has a current student population of 2228 students, but was originally designed to serve 1500 students. Overcrowding is known to reduce student learning, increase mental health problems, and increase school violence – a problem that continues to plague CCHS.

There is evidence to suggest this overcrowding is cause, in part, by the attendance of approximately one thousand students who are neither permit students nor Culver City residents.

According to CCUSD, there are 5211 “resident” students as of Spring 2023. Yet, according to the census bureau there are 5214 children between the ages of 5 and 17 who live within CCUSD boundaries. Statistically it is highly unlikely (unheard of) that virtually all resident student attend school in their home district. In fact, data from nearby districts indicate the number of resident students attending in their home district is closer to 80%

Based on data from other nearby districts, about 80% of the 5214 would actually enroll. Thus, 4200 would be expected to enroll in CCUSD.

And yet, there are 5211 children enrolled who are claiming to be residents. That is about 1000 students who should not be attending our schools.

At the school board meeting on July 12, 2023 then superintendent Quoc Tran, acknowledged the 1000 number of students who “should not be here”. But he said those students also bring money into the district. While it is true that this non-resident cohort of students bring money into the District, the money they bring in is not enough to properly scale-up existing facilities. In fact, at CCHS, some students are attending class in trailers from 1989.

Not only does turning a blind eye to this cohort of 1000 students increase overcrowding at CCUSD, it also effectively takes money away from nearby districts where the 1000 students reside. And just as importantly, these other districts have not given legal releases for those 1000 students to enroll in CCUSD. This makes the District out of compliance with state law and potentially subject to legal repercussions.

Numerous others and I have asked the board to calendar this topic for future discussion, a topic clearly withing the scope of matters the District and School Board has jurisdiction over. To this day, the board has refused to do so.

Carolyn B. Libuser

The Actors' Gang