Parents protest Inglewood Unified's plans to close 5 schools, says low enrollment 'intentional'

Dozens of parents and families protested outside Inglewood City Hall on Friday, to speak out against the upcoming closure of five schools in the local district. The state is blaming the closures on low enrollment, but critics of the move say the state has no plans to retain staff or students. 

Activists gathered outside the offices of state Assemblymember Tina McKinnor and state Senator Steven Bradford, to demand that the state give control of the district back to the school board. 

The state of California took over the Inglewood Unified School District more than a decade ago, as the district was facing insolvency. The district still owes the state millions of dollars, and has seen enrollment plummet from nearly 18,000 students 20 years ago, to fewer than 7,000 now, a roughly 60% decrease.

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Two Inglewood Unified schools — Warren Lane Elementary and Worthington Elementary — have already shut their doors. Five more — Crozier Middle School, Highland Elementary, Hudnall Elementary, Kelso Elementary and Morningside High School — are expected to shutter after the 2025 school year. Dr. James Moore is the county administrator appointed to lead the district. He insists that the closures come down to simple math: too many classrooms and not enough students. But activists argue that that's just an excuse.

"That is his excuse for closing the schools," said Fredresha Dixon. "It's not the reason that the schools are being closed. The reason that the schools are being closed is because Dr. Morris and our mayor would like to sell the land the schools are sitting on."

Activists point out that schools like Morningside High School are close to SoFi Stadium, and say that the drop in enrollment in the district is "intentional." The activists allege the district has no plan to keep students in the district, and that many district teachers have either proffered their resignation, or already left.

Both McKinnor and Bradford declined interviews Friday, but both did issue statements. Bradford's said, in part, "I have been working hard to assist the Inglewood Unified School District through its financial challenges. I've helped to secure $20 million in emergency funding. While I share the concerns of parents and community members in wanting to see the district turn itself around and get on sound financial ground, their efforts should be focused on getting the district out of receivership."

McKinnor's said that "I would encourage individuals who visited my office today to connect with Dr. Morris and the LA County Office of Education Board members to address their concerns."

FOX 11 has also reached out to Dr. Morris and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, but has not yet heard back.