Report Card

News and discussion on K-12 schools in the greater Sacramento region

February 7, 2013
Community voices concern over 11 schools slated for closure

schoolclosure.JPGAfter more than three hours of public comments, the long list of speakers at tonight's Sacramento City Unified School District school board meeting showed community members have a lot to say about the proposed closure of 11 schools.

"These meetings are an important reminder of who we serve - parents, students and communities," said board president Jeff Cuneo. "What our constituents say matters. Our school board will take into account their ideas and concerns as we move closer to a final decision."

Sacramento City Unified trustees will vote Feb. 21 on whether to close the schools at the end of the school year. Tonight's school board meeting was a discussion item only and no vote was taken.

"Opinions and thoughts matter, right? asked Jennifer Lee, 11, the student council president at Susan B. Anthony Elementary, one of the schools slated for closure. "Well, here is my thought about this decision. I personally think it's frigid, yes, I said frigid, that adults have to close down 11 schools. Do we not matter to them?"

After public comment ended, school board members weighed in on the closure plan.

Trustee Christina Pritchett said the current plan is unrealistic and goes against the district's model of putting students first.

"Much of the public has raised good questions about transportation that I as a board member can't answer," Pritchett said during the board meeting, adding that she felt the proposal is rushed.

Trustee Diana Rodriguez said the district's proposal needs more community input.

"Let's not forget that when we have these conversations with people in our community that there are other school districts and charter schools waiting with open arms to take in our students," Rodriguez said.

Trustee Gustovo Arroyo said the closure process as it stands is asking "those we serve to conform to our plan."

"I'm not sure we are putting the right fix to the right problem," Arroyo said.

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About Report Card

Loretta KalbLoretta Kalb started her reporting career at The Sacramento Union, moved to KOVR-13 as a television reporter, editor and producer, headed to The Associated Press in San Francisco and eventually returned to Sacramento and joined The Sacramento Bee. Throughout her career, she has covered the state Legislature, courts, local government and, now, education. She is a Chico native and an Elk Grove resident.

Diana LambertDiana Lambert began her journalism career as a proofreader at the Lodi News-Sentinel. She is now a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee covering K-12 education and California State University, Sacramento. Previously she was The Bee’s Elk Grove bureau chief. Lambert was raised in a military family and lived at bases around the globe. She attended four high schools, graduating from Tokay High in Lodi and then Sacramento State University. She lives in Elk Grove.

(916) 321-1073
Twitter: @LorettaSacBee
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