Public High School Legacy Admissions In The People`s Republic Of Santa Monica
May 17, 2009, 11:03 AM
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From the LA Times:
Emulating a controversial practice at many colleges, two high-achieving public school districts in California are giving preference to the children of alumni.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have adopted legacy admissions policies for children of former students who live outside their enrollment boundaries. The policies appear to be the first in the nation at public schools, education experts said.

The programs vary slightly, but leaders of both districts say they hope to raise money by forging closer ties with alumni who may be priced out of their hometowns as well as with grandparents who still live there.
What`s particularly striking is that this legal privilege is more or less hereditary, being passed down to the child from grandparents who currently live in Beverly Hills and from parents who used to live there:
Beverly Hills adopted its legacy policy on a 3-2 vote last spring, allowing the children of anyone who attended city schools at least four years and whose grandparents have lived in the city for at least a decade to apply for permits. Eleven students, among 5,100 enrolled in district schools, attend school under the program.

Fenton said he proposed the idea to reconnect the district with grandparents who live within its borders and no longer have a direct stake in the city`s schools yet are asked to vote on school measures, such as a $334-million facilities bond passed in November.

Fenton also said the district needed to forge closer ties with its alumni and pointed to an example of the benefits such connections can bring: The Beverly Hills Athletic Alumni Assn. in recent years has raised more than $1 million for uniforms, scoreboards and other purchases, he said.

I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have thought.