Monday, January 5, 2009
The San Diego Unified School District is grappling with the possibility of closing ten small elementary schools for next year. Supporters of the proposed schools are beginning to rally their troops. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
Superintendent Terry Grier says shutting schools with less than 400 students could save the district between four to six million dollars. That's a lot of money considering the district is facing another round of deep budget cuts for next school year.
The district's five-member Small Schools Committee is expected to develop a list by the end of this month.
Carol Hunter is one of two people on the panel who's against any closures.
I am not going to name schools. And it may be that the recommendation may be that we might not recommend schools. That other things need to happen first.
She says that includes considering other ways to save money and involving the community in the recommendation process.
Despite some rancor on the committee, members have identified about 17 campuses for possible closure including Cubberley in Serra Mesa, Central in City Heights and Cadman Elementary near Claremont.
Anne Marie Perry’s son attends Cadman. She says she’s prepared to fight.
Small schools are not a bad thing. That's why people go to private schools. They want that small school atmosphere. They say, 'it takes a village to raise a child.' And that's what a small school gives you.
Even so, Superintendent Terry Grier says the district simply can't afford to keep them open. The panel has agreed to work overtime this month to deliver a final list to the superintendent and the school board. The superintendent and the trustees will make the ultimate decision.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.