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School Uniform Fact Sheet

  1. Long Beach Unified School District is the first large urban school district in the United States to require school uniforms
  2. School uniforms are required in kindergarten through grade 8 in 49 elementary schools, 26 K-8 and middle schools and two high schools serving approximately 72,000 students.
  3. Under California law, parents can request an exemption from school uniforms. However, each year only approximately 1,500 parents (about 2 percent) request such exemption.
  4. Wilson and Millikan high schools and Hill Middle School are "opt-in" schools that offer challenging academic programs with school uniforms. Attendance at these special programs is by application.
  5. Uniforms enjoy a high level of community support. In an unofficial survey January 18, 1994, more than 80 percent of Long Beach Press-Telegram readers who responded said they support school uniforms. A 1995 LBUSD survey of parents showed 91 percent agreed that school uniforms improve the school environment.
  6. Financial assistance is available to disadvantaged children from indigent families. Privately funded--at no taxpayer expense--local organizations have provided more than $160,000 in uniforms to Long Beach children. A key group supporting uniform donations is Operation School Bell, a philanthropy of RickRackers, an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Long Beach. Other major contributors include the Long Beach Education Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Long Beach, Rotary Club of Long Beach, Greater Long Beach Board of Realtors, local churches, physicians and teachers plus hundreds of individual donors
  7. Other major school districts requiring school uniforms are Dade County, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Oakland, California; and Charleston, South Carolina. Many large urban school districts have one or more schools now requiring uniforms
  8. The uniform in Long Beach consists of navy blue or black shorts, pants, skirts, shorts or jumpers; and white shirts or blouses.
  9. Each school selects its own uniform. The affordable generic uniforms are available from more than 40 local retailers and discount stores.
  10. Parents report that three uniforms cost about the same as one pair of designer label jeans.