SACRAMENTO, CA - Eleven schools have been slated to be closed because of under-enrollment in the Sacramento City Unified School District, the school board announced Wednesday afternoon.
District Chief Communications Officer Gabe Ross said staff recommended closing the 11 schools because there are too many schools in the district compared to the declining number of students and each school is operating with less than 50 percent capacity.
School with under-enrollment tend to drain resources from other students and other schools, Ross said. District-wide, elementary schools tend to operate at 56 percent capacity.
The schools that were recommended to close are:
- Fruit Ridge
- James Marshall
- C.P. Huntington
- Susan B. Anthony
- Bret Harte
- Joseph Bonnheim
- Mark Hopkins
- C.B. Wire
If the schools shut down and once students are re-shifted, Ross said schools would operate at 70 percent capacity.
Aujunique Dismukes walks her siblings home from C.B. Wire Elementary every day. She worries what will happen if the school shuts down.
"We live right around the corner," Dismukes said. "How are my siblings going to get to school now?"
"Closing schools is a difficult and painful process and SCUSD will make every effort to ease this transition for impacted families and staff," Ross said. "Right-sizing is the right move financially and it benefits students by reducing the number of split-grade classrooms, concentrating needed resources on fewer campuses and increasing safety at campuses."
"I'm, like, dumbfounded right now," parent Takema Bryant said. She worries how the transition will affect her son, who is 5 th grader at C.B. Wire and has ADHD.
"Not only because it's a new school," Bryan explained. "But because of what he has, and the type of help he needs because once he gets settled somewhere, it's always good for him to keep on that track."
The district would save $10 million over four years by closing the schools. Teachers would likely keep their jobs, but it's unknown what will happen to the staff members.
Plant manager Ken Ramirez has worked at C.B. Wire for 15 years.
"I don't know what's going to happen." Ramirez said. "I'm hoping I keep my position. I could be placed somewhere else, but I don't know."
The board of education will discuss the recommendations of closing the 11 schools at its meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17, and will hold additional community meetings at each site before taking action at a board meeting Feb. 21.