Concerned that some parents would use transfer permits to avoid schools with large minority enrollments, the Los Angeles school board Monday approved a plan to restrict transfers of Anglo students to schools that already are 70% Anglo.
The board voted 5 to 2 in favor of a motion by Jackie Goldberg to formally authorize transfer restrictions recommended by district staff last June. Goldberg’s proposal will also set up an appeal procedure for parents who can prove that a hardship would result from denying a transfer.
The district allows students to transfer to a school outside their neighborhood for a variety of reasons, such as proof that a transfer school is closer to a student’s child-care provider. District officials recently sought to restrict transfers of Anglo students to 10 predominantly Anglo schools on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley because they feared that parents were using the permit system to “shop” for schools with a majority Anglo enrollment.
The 10 schools ranged between 71% and 90% Anglo. The board in a closed session last June affirmed a district staff recommendation to deny transfers of Anglo students to schools that were already 70% or more Anglo.
Parents of 250 children challenged the policy in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit and won a preliminary injunction upholding the transfers. The ruling did not prohibit the district from using ethnicity as a basis for denying transfer permits in the future, provided the decision was made in a public forum.