Torr Leonard, a father of a kindergarten student at the Gault Street Elementary School, was frustrated because so many of his neighbors were sending their children long distances to attend magnet schools or charter schools. He has made it his mission to tell them about their neighborhood public school.

When Torr Leonard moved into his Lake Balboa neighborhood five years ago, he discovered nearly every parent on his street sent their children to schools other than the neighborhood school a block away.

Leonard said he found that just one other nearby family sent their children to Gault Street Elementary, where his son Luc, started kindergarten last month. So, he has made it his mission to advocate for the school and encourage parents to re-think their decision to send their children to magnet or charter schools blocks — or even miles —away from their San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

“Why not try to market this school to the neighborhood to get people to actually send their kid there,” Leonard said in an interview.

Too bad that public schools do not have budgets for marketing, like the charter industry, which sucks public dollars away from public schools.