We speak of support, we speak of community, and keeping our children “at home” attending their local schools yet minimal efforts are put forth to provide the safety, programs, and environment conducive to constructive, forward learning for said kids who inhabit the area. The city of Inglewood is losing our local kids to the likes of school districts such as Wiseburn and Centinela Valley, not to mention the private school sector run by the Archdiocese, simply due to aesthetics and support. Over the last decade, the only upgrades Inglewood Unified School District has provided are glorified paint jobs to a handful of schools such as Morningside and Inglewood High.
In November 2012, residents voted on a $90million bond (Measure GG) to allocate funds towards Inglewood Unified School District after evaluating critical facility and safety needs throughout various schools in the district. This measure was put into place to provide upgrades to classrooms, technology demands, equipment, facility and infrastructure repairs, containing an on-going asbestos issue, amongst a host of other issues that continue to drive the enrollment trend back down. Needless to say that was a failure, IUSD has done nothing except slap a bandage on the problem while the schools continue to lose students to better, more competent school districts.
To make matters worse, we entered a global pandemic this past year beginning March 2020, where students and parents were forced to distance learn and work from home to minimize in-person contact in hopes of stopping the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus. During this time, campuses were empty, truly deserted except for limited facilities and staff to continue with the day-to-day logistics of running the district. As an essential worker, I was not afforded the opportunity to work from home, so I was able to see the progress being made around my neighborhood to improve safety and efficiency when our children returned to in-person learning. Needless to say, no progress was being made to Inglewood High School or some of the other elementary and middle schools in the district as I drove to and from work daily. There is however a lot of focus on the schools in closer proximity to the new Sofi Stadium, while the others are left wither away, unmaintained.
With Measure I, which was passed in November 2020, it allocated $240million MORE to Inglewood Unified School District, yet the only plans for renovations I have read about in detail were those to Morningside High School, which conveniently is located in the surrounding area by Sofi Stadium. For that I say “Fantastic” but what about everyone else. The school that bears the city’s namesake is in shambles, near ruin, to be frankly honest, it is falling apart. Mold, cracks in the wood, lead paint that chips away daily, poor irrigation, random graffiti throughout the campus, broken windows, old equipment, limited technology and supplies, and the list goes on and on and on. The limited resources afforded to this facility is unspeakable, and these are just some of the more superficial yet detrimental reasons IUSD continues to decline yearly in enrollment. There are several elementary and middle schools that look a thousand times better aesthetically than the High Schools in this district, have better programs, more access to technology, and the landscaping is immaculate.
It is hard to ask more of your community, do more for your community, when you don’t feel supported by said community. Over $300million in financial bonds were put into place to support this district, so why is the planning just starting? These funds date back to 2012, almost a decade ago, where has the financial resource gone? What visuals and non-visual updates have been made to these schools since Measures GG and I were passed? As horrific of a situation COVID is/was, it was also presented as the most optimal time to make the necessary changes to the schools in this district for the betterment of the students who attend while they were essentially mandated to home-schooling.
As COVID numbers continually decline and our communities devise a safer COVID policy and structure ahead of the vaccination mandate, now is the time for district change. As it stands, Inglewood Unified has been approached by several Fortune 500 companies interested in making necessary renovations to the school but a complete rebuild of Coleman Stadium, which is home to the 2019 and 2020 League Champion Football team. In true inglewood fashion, these prominent companies are sitting on the back burner while the Inglewood executives drag their feet with signing contracts to start the process. These companies have made attempts and effort to add needed value and upgrades to a rundown high school facility but Inglewood executives are more concerned with the money being placed in their hands rather than the project for renovations.
History shows that Inglewood Unified mismanaged and misappropriated school funding which teeters on the line of embezzlement. The manner in which Inglewood Unified School District handles business and finances shows in the lack of changes to the schools within the district and the default that the district is currently in. To say the least, if these companies provided the actual capital to the district the money would disappear and Inglewood Unified will do a sloppy, cheap, sub-par job just as they did with the current track renovation and bleacher updates to Coleman Stadium. This Inglewood Unified School District is a disaster and if changes aren’t made, and fast, it will not have parents or students to support it.