Reader opines on closing of Warren Lane

BEST DAYS BEHIND--Back on Oct. 04, 2017 Rams staff, cheerleaders, and wide receiver Paul McRoberts help beautify Warren Lane Elementary School, but this week we was learned that the 80 year old school will be closing for good in June. (Rams/Photo)

“I am submitting my comments as a news tip or story idea happening quietly in real time:  Today at approximately 4pm there was an unadvertised Zoom Meeting concerning the closure of Warren Lane Elementary School aka Daniel Freeman Elementary School. No notice or flyers were given to the homeowners who live in the neighborhood, no posting of the meeting on IUSD school site or Cal School News.  Parents may have been notified but none were in attendance as I could see.  The IUSD website shows the School Closure/Consolidation Committee has held virtual meetings on 12/16/20, 1/13/20 and 1/24/20.  The 1/24/20 meeting was for Committee members to invite students, staff, parents/guardians and community members to a Community Input Listening Session to share their concerns.  Neither I nor anyone I’ve spoken to in my neighborhood received such an invitation.

Several meeting attendees had questions regarding (1) “when” the decision was made to close the school?; (2) why there was no input from the community and why now are we being asked to appoint 3 parents and 3 community members to transition children to other schools (3) could the District and key personnel schedule a meeting to hear from parents/neighbors? and (4)  regarding the (unconfirmed) plans to place low income housing in its place right in the middle of Morningside Park, a residential neighborhood.   There was no response to these questions.  Ms. Erika Torres, County Administrator was pressed as to “who” made the decision to close the school?  Ms. Torres responded “I did”.  The Zoom Meeting abruptly ended while another attendee was speaking.  This is not how meetings should be conducted no matter how uncomfortable and I, for one, was totally disappointed.  This is not a decision to be decided without the input of the people it affects, especially if low-income housing is the long game (home values, infrastructure challenges and no oversight on potential tenants introduced into our community).

As you are aware, property values have increased due to the Forum and SoFi Stadium, but so have our property taxes after two school bond measures to “fix” our schools and the addition of a line item to pay into Inglewood Retirement Fund.  After being closed 2 years for Covid-19 Warren Lane should have been cleared of asbestos and lead, new air conditioning and heating, and updated to not only appeal to parents but to educator talent in a thriving community.  All I see my taxes garnered at Warren Lane is new paint.  Where are the millions of dollars we voted for being spent?  Obviously, not at Warren Lane aka Daniel Freeman, which should have been preserved as a historical site with new appeal.

We have a Community with children, grandchildren, neighbors-old and new, and last I checked we still live in a democracy where voices united together matter.

In the meantime, continue to make “good trouble”.”

All the best,

Cheryl Matthews


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