Every Sacramento school child has to master addition, but now district dialogue is all focused on subtraction – the loss of students forcing closure plans for 11 elementary schools.
Parents and students at Tahoe Elementary school – the first to get a campus visit from the district to explain the situation.
And the first to get their chance to respond.
“I think your way is a bit incomplete. I think a longer term view needs to be taken of the facilities offered at different schools,” said one dad during the public comment period.
“Closing Tahoe is a mistake and a huge one at that,” said one student.
Another student offered this about scheduling at a merged campus, “We have a cafeteria and at Mark Twain their cafeteria is small. Think how many times we’ll have lunch.”
The district’s insistence that the closure list was purely a fiscal solution to the fiscal problem of needing to save at least $2 million next school year – not resonating.
“We’re not considering the children here. We heard the children speak. They’re wonderful,” said parent Michael Madden.
“There’re a lot of kids right here in the neighborhood and I’m out the neighborhood. Just to see my kid walk across Stockton… that’s kind of far,” said Tahoe parent Raymond Thompson.
“I think it’s a neighborhood that’s having a renaissance and I think a lot of young families are moving in here because there is a nice school and a nice park and it’s unfortunate to close it,” said Tahoe graduate Kathy Wagner.
Schools were placed on the closure list because the district designated them as severely under enrolled. Tahoe was originally listed by SCUSD at only 38 percent capacity.
Heated debate over what inside a school really amounts to ‘teachable space’ prompted another review of buildings last week.
After new walking surveys of campuses, numbers for Tahoe changed to 40 percent capacity, but not enough to add it back into the district’s vision of a financially stable future.