Los Angeles Unified School District Plans to Reorganize Immigrant Student Clinic
The Los Angeles Unified School District is "preparing to dismantle" the Immigrant Student Assessment Clinic, a clinic and counseling center for the city's immigrant students, citing budget cuts and a "space crunch," the Los Angeles Times reports. The "one-of-a-kind" center serves about 4,000 students in the Pico-Union area each year, providing free checkups, vaccinations, counseling and assistance with registration paperwork. District officials had planned to close the center until this week, when neighborhood leaders and school principals raised opposition. Superintendent Roy Romer met with district officials to negotiate a compromise. They proposed maintaining the center's medical staff while "farm[ing] out" its psychologist, social worker and interpreters to schools in the area, stating that these providers can "reach more students by working in tandem with staff members at campuses." However, the centers' directors said that the plan would "undermine" the center's "primary mission" of providing "one-stop shopping for impoverished families who speak little English and need help navigating complex educational and health systems." Center coordinator Rose Marie Durocher said that the center is currently "far more responsive to immigrants' needs than are scattered services at individual schools." She added, "We want to keep the services intact. The schools are already trained to send their kids here." But Romer noted that most of the district's 33,000 immigrant students see psychologists and other providers at schools rather than "outside centers." Romer added, "We are going to take care of these children with equal quality. Any change we make will not lessen the services we give to the students" (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 6/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.