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Crowd Control

Teaneck Community Charter School, in New Jersey, is desperately overcrowded. The 15,000-square-foot building houses 248 students and 34 staff.<br /><i>Photo: Najlan Feanny/Corbis</i><br />
Teaneck Community Charter School, in New Jersey, is desperately overcrowded. The 15,000-square-foot building houses 248 students and 34 staff.
Photo: Najlan Feanny/Corbis

Students sprawled out on the cafeteria floor to take exams. Art teachers conducting lessons in the hallway. Overcrowding in schools has reached a crisis point in many districts across the country. To alleviate the problem, districts are debating whether to build new schools, buy more trailers, schedule school year-round, or redistrict in high-attendance zones. Don’t like any of those options? Consider this one: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently proposed shipping students to schools in less crowded states, such as Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Mexico. Try that strategy at the next PTA meeting.

1 out of 3
Proportion of California students attending an overcrowded school

Number of students who attend South Gate Middle School, in Los Angeles, a school designed for 800

Year by which California will need schools for 1 million more students

Source: Just Schools California, UCLA/IDEA Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access;

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