February 22, 2008
Tucker Elementary School’s students will transfer to MacArthur Elementary School in the fall, allowing the Long Beach Unified School District to use Tucker as offices for existing school programs that are currently in leased facilities.
The move is expected to save the district $1 million in consolidation of district offices and programs.
The nearly 400 students at Tucker will join the approximately 430 students at MacArthur to create a school that actually is smaller than MacArthur once was. At its peak, MacArthur served more than 900 students.
Tucker is located at 2221 Argonne Ave. in Long Beach. MacArthur is located at 6011 Centralia Ave. in Lakewood. The two schools are 3.8 miles apart.
The total number of buses going to MacArthur will remain about the same because they will be filled closer to capacity than they are now.
The cost-savings move is necessitated by declining enrollment and the state’s budget crisis, which is requiring school districts throughout California to find ways to save limited resources.
Tucker originally opened in 1955. The facility has been used for various purposes by LBUSD throughout the years, including as a school for orthopedically handicapped children and as various offices for the school district.
The Tucker facility will once again be used for offices that are currently located elsewhere in the city. Seven portable classrooms will be relocated from Tucker to Reid Continuation High School.
After serving as office space, Tucker reopened as an overflow school more than 10 years ago to accommodate excess student enrollment created as a result of class-size reduction and a then-mushrooming student population throughout Long Beach.
Since Tucker reopened to accommodate overflow students, the school district’s enrollment has declined significantly.
LBUSD’s peak student population of about 97,500 students in 2002 has dropped to 88,000 students this year. Almost all of the decrease has occurred in the elementary grades.
The enrollment downturn is due in part to the fact that many young families cannot afford the high cost of housing in Southern California’s coastal regions.