Hundreds of students at Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) walked out of classes Thursday (2/23/17) protesting possible plans for budget cuts and allegations of poor decisions. Students carried signs reading, "Where's the money," and planned chants of "our district is corrupt."
Police estimated that 500 or more students gathered to demonstrate of the district office. MUSD serves Montebello, the southern part of Monterey Park and communities in the southeast area of the county.
The district has been under attack for allegations of corruption and bad financial management. The district's current chief business officer, Ruben Rojas, provided false information on his job application, according to reports from the Pasadena Star News and Tribune newspapers..
The school district is facing millions in budget cuts for the next school year because of it is required to do so by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Students distributed a flyer on social media saying stating the reason for the walkout was to raise the issue of Rojas and potential layoffis. The district is required to file a "district stablization plan" including millions in cuts to balance the district budget.
The school district issued the following written statement: "Providing a quality education and ensuring daily attendance by our students is a top priority of the district. Consequently, we are disappointed that some special interests have encouraged our students to participate in a walkout today in a deliberate attempt to influence the board in its discussions over a challenging budget."