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Residents Ask State Help for 2nd Eastview Secession Vote : Education: The Rancho Palos Verdes community wants to pull out of the L.A. school district. A judge invalidated a November election that had approved the move.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Residents of the Eastview community of Rancho Palos Verdes have asked state education authorities to help clear the way for another vote on whether they may pull out of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Eastview residents in November voted overwhelmingly in favor of leaving the Los Angeles school district, but a Superior Court judge rendered the election invalid, saying not enough people with a stake in the issue were allowed to vote.

This week the residents asked the state Board of Education to establish new election boundaries so another referendum could be held. The request is being reviewed by the state agency’s legal department, said Dan Reibson, field representative in the school business services division of the state Department of Education.

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Eastview residents had planned to appeal the judge’s decision to invalidate November’s election results, but dropped those plans after the state Supreme Court last month refused to hear a similar case involving the Pasadena Unified School District.

“Our attorney basically recommended, as a cost-savings measure, that we drop the appeal,” said Kari Tapie, co-chair of Residents for Unified Local Education (RULE), which is lobbying on behalf of those wanting to break away from the Los Angeles district. “We spent almost $4,000 on the last election. It’s extremely frustrating to spend that money, to spend that time, but all along we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.”

Balloting on the measure in November’s election was limited to Eastview residents. As expected, about 85% of Eastview’s voters approved Proposition Z, which would have allowed them to send their children to schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.

But Superior Court Judge Stephen E. O’Neill barred the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder from certifying the election results, saying parents whose children attend Eastview schools but don’t live on the peninsula should be among those allowed to vote on the plan.

Eastview residents have wanted to break away from the Los Angeles Unified School District since the city of Rancho Palos Verdes annexed their community in 1983. Advocates argue their children are isolated from the rest of the Palos Verdes community because they attend school in a separate district.

Los Angeles school officials have fought the proposal, arguing the defection of Eastview students, who are predominantly white, would upset the racial balance of the district’s schools and expose the district to civil rights lawsuits. They also say the move would disrupt programs for hundreds of other students.

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About 750 Eastview children attend six schools in the Los Angeles district. Two of the schools, Crest wood Street Elementary and Dodson Junior High, both in Rancho Palos Verdes, would become the property of the Palos Verdes school district if the secession proposal wins approval.

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