Community meetings continue at chronically under-enrolled schools
Eleven elementary schools filled to less than 50 percent of capacity are slated for closure next fall

e-Connections Post

Sacramento City Unified School District is holding community meetings at all 11 dramatically under-enrolled elementary schools slated for closure next fall.

The closures are aimed at ‘’right-sizing” SCUSD, which has experienced deep declines in student enrollment over the past decade – a loss of about 5,500 students since 2001-02, or about 160 classrooms. For 2012-13, SCUSD’s student population is down again by at least 800.

District-wide, SCUSD’s 56 elementary schools operate at just 56 percent of capacity. (By comparison, the much larger Elk Grove Unified School District has just 39 elementary schools; similarly sized San Juan Unified has 43.) Factors cited as contributing to SCUSD’s student decline include the aging of urban neighborhoods, the lure of newer suburbs beyond SCUSD’s borders and the region’s economic downturn.

Declining enrollment translates to a loss of state funds and triggers structural budget problems, as under-enrolled campuses strain resources. Despite passage of Proposition 30, SCUSD is bracing for another budget deficit in 2013-14 due to rising costs and the predicted loss of another 800 students.

Right-sizing benefits students by reducing the number of split-grade classrooms and concentrating maintenance and security resources on fewer campuses, which makes campuses safer and healthier for kids.

Click here for the dates and locations of community meetings.