Move To Ease Overcrowding : L.A. Schools to 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 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.

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 month, 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.

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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