Local News in Brief : Fight for School Continues

A parents' group has rejected the Palos Verdes Peninsula school board's offer to provide busing and more classes on the east side of the district if the group stops opposing efforts to close Miraleste High School. Instead, the group, the East Peninsula Education Council, called for an updated master plan that would take into account its projections for a substantial growth in enrollment.

The board's offers, the council said in a written response, do not answer east side concerns about transportation problems and equal access to education, including extracurricular activities. The statement also said demographic studies done by the group show that the 9,800-student district will need all of its present campuses to accommodate increases in student population in the next decade.

District projections indicate a continuing decline in enrollment over the next five years, down to a stable level of about 9,000 students. With those projections in mind, trustees in November voted to close Miraleste at the end of the school year in June.

The east side council went to court to block the closure, and Miraleste will continue in operation for at least another year. Meanwhile, the council is trying to gain state approval to break away from the district and set up a separate school system.

District spokeswoman Nancy Mahr said that without agreement from the council to drop its lawsuit, no further consideration can be given to proposals to provide busing or establish intermediate classes at the closed Miraleste Elementary campus. As it stands, the court order restricts what the district can do.

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