More Students Are Applying to Magnets

Students are applying for magnet schools in record numbers this year.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has received 40,500 applications for about 14,000 openings.

Even more applications are expected over the next month after the district sends out new forms for the 24 newly created magnets.

"It's phenomenal," said Assistant Supt. Theodore Alexander, who oversees the district's integration division. "It's tremendous--I'm pleased."

The district last year received 38,000 applications for about 10,000 openings, officials said.

While only about one in three students will be selected for the fall, the others will be placed on a waiting list for the 1995-96 school year.

The Board of Education recently approved creating 24 new magnets--including 10 in the San Fernando Valley--that will open up an additional 5,300 new classroom seats next fall.

Among the magnets that already have received a high number of applications are:

* Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet in Northridge, with 1,400.

* Bravo Medical Magnet in East Los Angeles, with 1,400 applications.

* Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Reseda, with 2,036.

* Open School in West Los Angeles, with 744.

* 32nd Street/USC Performing Arts Magnet near Downtown, with 1,800 applications.

Parents will be notified next month whether their children were accepted into the magnet program.

The magnet schools were created during the divisive busing battles of the late 1970s. They are intended to provide students with a specialized academic program in smaller, integrated classrooms.

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