The Unified School District will build 19 new classrooms and will hire 14 new teachers for the fall semester in order to accommodate enrollment that has been increasing by about 400 pupils a year for five years.
Supt. Jerry Holland attributed the growth to new housing in Baldwin Park, which he said is attracting families with young children. This year there are 411 new students, and an expected 400 more next year will give the district an enrollment of at least 14,000, Holland said in a report to the district Board of Education.
The largest growth is in the lower elementary grades and in the Latino population, which makes up almost 75% of the district's enrollment. Holland said most of the new students are from Mexico, creating a need for bilingual teachers. Holland said the district has reserve funds and anticipates an increase in state funding to cover the anticipated $1.3 million in construction costs.