The Los Angeles Unified School District informed the parents of public school students that Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood is facing funding cuts because it has an excess of white students. Because the number of white students surpasses 30 percent, the school district will make cuts, resulting in job losses for teachers and others.
 
Consonant with school district policy, Walter Reed Middle School had qualified for a higher level of funding because the number of Asians, blacks, Latinos, and other non-Anglos had exceeded 30 percent of the student body. Because the number of white students has increased, the special funding for the school has been jeapordized. 
 
“A school qualifies for PHBAO [Predominantly Hispanic, Black, Asian, or Non-Anglo] status if 70 percent or more of its students who live within the school’s attendance boundary are identified as ‘Hispanic, Black, Asian, or non-Anglo,’” the letter from Local District Northeast Superintendent Linda Del Cueto stated. Policies such as this came about during the 1970s as a result of efforts to address racial segregation in local schools.
 
 “Under a court-ordered integration program that has been in place since 1978, PHBAO schools qualify for smaller class sizes and additional positions. When a school no longer qualifies for PHBAO status, fewer positions are funded.”
 
Heeding an outcry from parents, the district will apparently seek to limit the elimination of positions at the school. Superintendent Del Cueto declared that the counselor, librariaran, and nurse positions are not endangered. 
 
"When your class sizes are getting larger and you're taking resources away from students, I mean as parents, you do want your kid to go out to college," said Rosemary Estrada, according to a local ABC News affiliate. She has a student at the school.
 
"Thankfully we're going to keep our librarian. We're going to keep our nurse, but we may lose a few teachers, but not as many as we once thought," said another parent, Sheila Edmiston. 

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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