IUSD Warns of Looming State Takeover

Last night I attended the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Meeting at Inglewood Unified School District Headquarters.  The Superintendents Parent Advisory Meeting is held monthly as a opportunity for individual school sites to sit down, and discuss openly with the Superintendent, the state of the district.  This meeting centered around the possible State takeover of IUSD.  As you can see, the meeting was not heavily attended, although Superintendent McHenry reminded us this was the 1st meeting of the pending school year, and these meetings are normally full.

We discussed many possible scenarios that could affect the district ranging from staff reduction, increased classroom sizes and most startling, at the coming School Board meeting (Wednesday, Aug. 22nd @ 7pm don’t ask me why the agenda is over 600 pages) to create a Surplus Property Committee (SPC)  to analyze the feasibility to sell off school assets.  When asked what school assets would be considered for selling, McHenry replied “we own the schools”.

Apparently, if the Inglewood Unified School District wants to sell property, they would need to approach a charter school and give them 1st opportunity to buy.   The board meeting will allow the Board to vote on how many persons will make up the SPC with McHenry recommending (9) persons. Another great concern was the manner in which the Inglewood Unified School District markets itself to the residents.

McHenry admits we have lost approx. 1,000 students due to a number of factors: some schools are labeled “Program Improvement” which all but guarantees you a permit out of the school and/or district, how the students and their families are treated and most importantly, safety issues.  When asked why the IUSD website is outdated and doesn’t highlight the achievements of the district, we were told “they are aware its a problem, for at least a few years, and are working on it”.

We asked about selling permits to use school facilities on weekends and McHenry stated that doesn’t generate enough funds.  When asked about lowering the number of contracts to outside agencies and hiring people in-house, McHenry stated we have done some research but aren’t sure if its cost-effective or not.

We asked if the City of Inglewood is providing the money to the district as they are supposed to.  McHenry responded, yes, but it’s not a big part of our budget. McHenry offered no creative, viable alternative solutions to our budget crisis.  His constant propaganda on decreasing staff as opposed to finding ways to bring in money, collectively, is a damn shame.  When asked if PTA could do more to raise funds to assist with the district, McHenry’s reply was “PTA’s have gone rogue in the past doing their own thing, which is concern to the PTA national” in short, no we can’t. What does a State takeover boil down too?  If the Inglewood Unified School District takes out yet another loan, as they have planned to do, then all Board Members and Superintendent McHenry will lose their jobs.  Period.  So to avoid this, the Board has come up with selling property to satisfy the debt?  Will it be enough? 

Finally, McHenry says the best thing we can do is promote the positive things about the Inglewood Unified School District to keep kids in the district.   Promote that Inglewood Unified School District is safe and a wonderful place to learn.  McHenry stated “do you want the state to come in and dictate?”  Parents want a safe environment where their kids can learn and thrive Mr. McHenry.  Parents want to be greeted by happy Principals in the morning Mr. Mc Henry.  Parents want to drop their kids off knowing they don’t have to sit on a curb unsupervised Mr. McHenry.  Parents want their kids learning from current books Mr. McHenry.  Kids want to go to schools that are pleasing to look at Mr. McHenry.  Kids want to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch Mr. McHenry.  Kids want to use a bathroom with working locks on the doors Mr. McHenry.

We hope that for the sake of our kids, the Inglewood Unified School District is not taken over by the State and we can work together to create ways to save our schools.

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