Why is the district closing schools in the light of the passage of prop 30 and the Governor's new policy initiative to change the way schools are funded? Sac City is 73% free and reduced lunch students. It could receive an infusion of funds.
The district has sighted the Sacramento County Office of Education's requirement that that district have a balanced budget 3 years out or face being taken over by SCOE out as a reason for deep worst case scenario budget cuts. Where in the Ed Code does it grant Supt. David Gordon the authority to demand this?
There is a movement nationally to challenge school closures under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. While the district is not using an academic component in its criteria for closures, all the proposed closures are high minority, high poverty schools. These proposed closures will negatively impact the neighborhoods of these schools. The district should provide a neighborhood school that a child has the right to go to for every community. That's what our taxes are supposed to pay for.
Eleven neighborhood schools, 20% of the district's elementary schools are proposed for closure. The proposed closure s would leave Central City neighborhoods Curtis Park and Tahoe Park without neighborhood schools. Choice schools like Phoebe Hearst, Camellia, Sutterville and Da Vinci and others remain sacred cows in the district. They actually drain kids away from the neighborhood schools. They were part of a desegregation effort from the '80's but no longer fulfill that purpose. Because the district no longer provides transportation to those schools, only those with the means to provide transportation can send their children to them. If the choice schools were closed and the students sent back their neighborhood schools, would any of the schools on the closure list see a rise in enrollment? Moreover, the district is opening three more new specialized programs next fall-the IB program at Greenwood Elementary, the Waldorf program at Winn and the IB program at Kit Carson. If all eleven schools are closed, that would mean that 20% of the remaining elementary schools would be choice schools. SCUSD seems to be moving towards being a "choice" district. Mayor Bloomburg has created a choice district in New York and Supt. Raymond may be trying to do this through the back door with these closures.
Why aren't the small high schools being proposed for closure even though they are way more expensive to operate and are a drain on neighborhood high schools like McClatchy? McClatchy has rats in the quad because there are not enough janitors to keep the school clean. Why can't the small high school programs be moved to the campus of the comprehensive high schools? Programs could be housed at the Sacramento High facility which is under enrolled.
Schedule of district meetings on schools closures:"
The Sacramento City Unified School District has set a series of 11 community meetings at each of the school sites that may close next school year. District officials and board members will visit each of the schools and talk to parents about the closure proposal.
Trustees are scheduled to vote on the closures Feb. 21. Schools that receive a majority vote from the seven-member board will be closed after the school year ends.
Meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on the following days:
Wednesday: Tahoe Elementary School, 3110 60th St.
Monday, Feb. 4: Bret Harte Elementary School, 2751 Ninth Ave.
Monday, Feb. 4: C.B. Wire Elementary School, 5100 El Paraiso Ave.
Tuesday, Feb. 5: James Marshall Elementary School, 9525 Goethe Road
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Susan B. Anthony Elementary School, 7864 Detroit Blvd.
Wednesday, Feb. 6: Mark Hopkins Elementary School, 2221 Matson Drive
Wednesday, Feb. 6: Fruit Ridge Elementary School, 4625 44th St.
Wednesday, Feb. 13: Washington Elementary School, 520 18th St.
Wednesday, Feb. 13: Maple Elementary School, 3301 37th Ave.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: C.P. Huntington Elementary School, 5921 26th St.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Joseph Bonnheim Elementary School, 7300 Marin Ave.