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Vote may shake up 90210 school attendance

January 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Beverly Hills school board will vote on whether to end the program allowing out-of-district students to enroll there.The name and the zip code of Beverly Hills 90210 conjure up images of the rich and famous. Students from outside the city were attracted to the quality schools in this city. It's part of a permit program that allowed them to do that, but maybe not for much longer.

"This is an issue that's dividing our community and we need to get beyond it. Our goal is to try to be as fair as we can with our parents, both the permit parents and the regular parents," said Jerry Gross, superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

This school district, like others, gets money from the state per student based on enrollment, but with big cuts from Sacramento, that will change. The district is now expected to get most of its money from property taxes. Some say resources need to be focused on resident students.

Nick Sands is a permit student who might have to leave. He said that if he was forced to leave, he wouldn't know what to do with his social life and that he'd just have to get used to new people.

Officials estimate keeping the permit students could cost the district between $2 million and $5 million. If the program is eliminated, it could affect about five hundred students.

"Yes, there is a cost. Yes, it would be better for us to have fewer kids under basic aid, and we will. Just how many will depend on the board's decision," said Gross.

Some at Beverly Hills High School might not be allowed to graduate with their friends, and some students are upset about that.

"I think it's a bad idea, because they came to these schools for like six years, and they're just kicking them out for no reason," said Shawn Adashsean, a student.

"When you take these permits away, it's really taking out all the creative kids, the athletic kids, and all the kids who come from so far away to get a good education and without these kids, I think our school is going to lose a lot of value," said Nicky Sedaghat, another student.

If the permit plan is eliminated, parents can appeal to the Los Angeles County Office of Education which would consider each case individually. The school board members will vote on this Tuesday.