The campus has long been intended as a local school, mostly serving students from surrounding neighborhoods. Critics say the district’s best resources shouldn’t be restricted geographically.
With just nine months left before it opens, a new arts high school in downtown Los Angeles still lacks a principal, a staff, a curriculum, a permanent name and a clearly articulated plan for how students will be selected — critical details for a school that aims to be one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States.
Central High School No. 9 does have a completed campus, believed to be the second most expensive public high school ever built in the United States. But the very fact that it offers what may be the finest such facilities in the region has fueled a debate over the district’s plan to operate it primarily as a neighborhood school, with fewer than one-quarter of its slots allotted to students citywide.