On Wednesday, March 15, Worthington Elementary School students will hold a sit-in at the Inglewood district offices to demand their school is not shut down by Dr. James Morris, the county administrator from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). Students will take over the board room after months of LACOE blatantly ignoring the community’s pleas to keep the school open.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is forcing the IUSD to shut down yet another school: Worthington Elementary School. Inglewood’s real-estate boom has resulted in an increase in land value and the LACOE is seeing dollar signs. Worthington Elementary is conveniently located a mile away from the Sofi Stadium, Kia Forum, Youtube Theatre, and Intuit Dome.
Dr. James Morris has completely disregarded the district’s vote to keep Worthington Elementary School open.
Worthington is located in a tight-knit community of Inglewood and houses a Dual-Immersion Program and Special Day classes for Special Education Students.
The Inglewood Unified School District’s School Closure Committee voted to keep the school open.
The president of the IUSD, Brandon Myers, vowed to fight to keep the school open, but this has fallen on deaf ears and LACOE is pushing for a total of six school closures.
Community members argue LACOE is operating like a private developer instead of a public school entity. LACOE has already forced the district to lease 23 acres of prime real estate for the development of 400 townhomes. Warren Lane Elementary was closed last year and is also on its way to becoming another multi-million dollar development project. Now, Worthington is next on their list.
Dr. James Morris has cited a decrease in enrollment as the reason for the district’s financial troubles, yet he lacks a plan to recruit new students and provide them with a quality education. His only plan is to shut down schools.
The IUSD has a long history of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds. Protestors argue that the financial issues within the district should be investigated and resolved before any more drastic actions are taken. They are certain the profits from land development will also be mismanaged and the district will be left with the irreversible loss of school property.