Budget cuts close Lakewood elementary


The Long Beach Unified Board of Education voted Tuesday to shut down James Monroe Elementary School in Lakewood at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The decision leaves hundreds of children from grades K-8 scrambling to find a new school to attend.

District officials say the move was based on reduced enrollment at the school. The decision will also save them about $2.3 million a year as the district looks for ways to help close a $20 million shortfall.

Parents of children who grew up attending the elementary school were unhappy about the news.

"The quality of education, the neighborhood, the staff are just amazing," said Tina Enwall. "It's really helped my daughter grow and I'm really saddened that they're going to close it."

Others said they were worried about their kids adjusting or making the leap to a new school.

"It's the only school that they've known since they were born, and now it's closing down," said Lisa Masealii.

The board also voted to eliminate grades six through eight at the David Burcham School in Long Beach.

All students and teachers will be transferred to other schools. No layoffs are expected.

The district says students can transfer to nearby schools or any other school of their parents' choice if space is available.

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