SOUTH PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A group of angry parents gathered Saturday night in South Pasadena to ask officials why their kids got kicked out of Pacific Oaks Children’s School.
The preschool — based in Pasadena — cited overcrowding as a reason.
Some of the angry parents thought the reasoning was a lot less equitable.
“I believe this is a social equity issue. The programs that were closed were full time working families but it was also the most diverse families,” said Sandra Chen-Lau, a parent.
KCAL9’s Melanie Woodrow attended the meeting which was arranged by State Senator Carol Liu, who also attended.
On Monday, 30 families say they won’t have a place to take their children.
“They have really displaced a lot of families,” said Frances Clinton, a parent.
The school’s new interim director realized the school was over capacity.
The interim director applied to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for an increase. The school was operating over capacity, possibly for years.
“The budget reductions of the last five, 10 years has meant that we can’t visit as often as we want,” said Dave Dodds, with the DSS Community Care Licensing Division.
DSS denied the request to increase, so school officials said they had no alternative but to cut about 30 students.
The school notified parents by email.
“I just feel I got kicked in the stomach,” added Clinton.
School administrators told Woodrow that they based their decision on who could stay on seniority.
But many parents felt that was not the case.
Woodrow asked a school trustee if diversity was factored into the decision? “Yes we looked at it in general but now that we’ve got an allegation I’m going to go back and count heads,” said Reverend Mary Tudela.
Parent Chen-Lau was asked what she would do with her child on Monday morning. “We don’t know.”