Opening with the Pledge of Allegiance, Thursday’s meeting of the Sacramento City Unified School District started like most days at school.
But while the kids relaxed on laps and went hide and go seek, it was their parents studying what was being said about their children’s future and reacting.
“I want someone to explain to me the sense of keeping bad schools open because they’re full and closing good schools simply because they’re under-enrolled,” said Matt Muller.
“I think you should not close down Fruit Ridge because it’s a really great place for kids,” said student Stephanie Miranda.
Despite a step by step explanation of the 10 to 12 million dollar deficit facing the Sacramento City Unified School District and the closures that could plug the gap, parents and teachers feel politics are at play.
” I noticed all these are in south Sac, the ones getting shut down,” said one woman from the podium during the public comment period.
“They don’t take their students there. Why, if the school is right there? Obviously, they’re letting them go into schools where there’s not a lot of color in their skin,” said Bret Harte mom Elizabeth Esparza.
Others accused the district of bloating building capacity to skew usage numbers, falsely making the case for closure at schools like Bret Harte.
“The numbers you’re using aren’t accurate. Before you go voting, I would double check what the district’s giving you on accurate numbers,” said one Bret Harte teacher.
“My cafeteria seats 225. If you had 955 students, we’d have six lunches. How are you gonna manage that,” said Jameliah Kirk, Bret Harte’s office manager.
Some board members still have big questions themselves.
“What I object to the most is that there are so many unanswered questions and despite me asking for info, for financial data it still hasn’t come forward,” said board member Diana Rodriguez.
The next step for these possible closures?
Community meetings at all 11 of the schools that could be affected.