Today there will be a press conference on the Federal Courthouse steps announcing the filing of a lawsuit to prevent the closure of seven schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District. The goal is to obtain a temporary injunction at the hearing which should take place within the next four to five weeks. That will prevent the closures from going forward while the plaintiffs, students and parents, get the opportunity to tell their story in court.
These closures aren't happening in a vaccuum. The same thing is happening in New York, Chicago and Phildelphia. They even use the same double speak-"right-sizing the district'".
SCUSD Supt. Raymond and Board President Cuneo are quoted in this article, complaining that the closures were necessitated by the district's financial position and now the lawsuit could potentially cost the district more. The closures would only save $1.2 million dollars a year. The district will waste more than that moving portables to the receiving schools and trying to upgrade the bathrooms, which are insufficient to serve all the students.
The closures aren't about better serving students or the district's financial straits (which are improving given the state budget). It's about reducing the power of the teachers union by closing schools and shedding jobs. Students are being shifted to "Priority Schools" whose teachers don't have the same contract. 50 teachers have possibly lost their positions as the promise to have their assignments follow their students has been broken. Charters will come in to replace those schools but the teachers won't be unionized. The goal is to have a district like Natomas Unified where over 50 percent of the students attend charters and the teachers union has almost no influence. That's one way to reduce the schools district's unfunded pension liabilities--create teaching jobs that don't have pensions or any other union protections. Then the privatization of public education in Sacramento can proceed without any roadblocks.
The link to the Bee article is below: