Energy: Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Along with Saudi Arabia and Mexico, the Beverly Hills Unified School District is facing hard times because of plunging oil prices. Since the 1920s, the school district has bolstered its budget with revenues from oil wells behind Beverly Hills High that overlook the athletic fields. An oil company leases the land from the school district and pays royalties based on the profits it makes from the wells. When petroleum prices shot up in the 1970s, the district's annual oil earnings jumped to $1.5 million. The extra revenue has helped Beverly Hills pay its teachers a handsome $38,000 a year, or $10,000...

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