To Ease Overcrowding : L.A. Schools Rent College Classrooms

Times Staff Writer

Strapped for space, the Los Angeles Board of Education has approved a lease agreement with the Los Angeles community colleges that will help relieve the elementary and secondary school district's growing classroom shortage, particularly severe in the Southeast region.

The agreement, which was ratified without comment by a 7-0 vote, allows the overcrowded Los Angeles Unified School District to rent surplus classrooms at five campuses in the under-enrolled community college system--Los Angeles Southwest College, East Los Angeles Community College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Angeles City College and Los Angeles Valley College.

According to the agreement, the school district will pay the college system $64,000 through the end of June.

Based on Current Rates

The cost is based on current rates charged by the unified school district when it leases space to colleges and universities, Assistant Supt. Paul Possemato said. But a review at the end of the lease period may result in an adjustment based on the actual cost to the college district of providing its facilities.

Last week about 400 students from South Gate, Huntington Park, Bell and Belmont high schools began attending enrichment classes in 12 bungalow rooms at Southwest, a district official said. As many as 750 high school students may participate in a more extensive program scheduled to run from March 31 to June 27 at the other four campuses. Part of that arrangement calls for 200 South Gate High School students to attend classes at East Los Angeles College.

District officials are continuing to negotiate the terms of a program linking all nine community college campuses with overcrowded high schools, Possemato said. This program, which may begin July 1, would involve leasing space from the colleges and would permit high school students to enroll in college courses that fulfill certain graduation requirements.

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