Report Card

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

February 21, 2013
For latest on Sac City school closures, check here

closure3.jpegUpdate 12:38 a.m.: Trustees in the Sacramento City Unified School District voted 4-3 to close seven schools at the end of this school year after a lengthy school board meeting Thursday night.

The schools that will be closed are Washington, Maple, Collis P. Huntington, Fruit Ridge, Joseph Bonnheim, Mark Hopkins and Clayton B. Wire. Trustees Jeff Cuneo, Patrick Kennedy, Jay Hansen and Darrel Woo voted in favor of the closures, while Gustavo Arroyo, Diana Rodriguez and Christina Pritchett voted against.

Board members were scheduled to vote on the closure of 10 elementary schools on Thursday, but three were pulled from the list at the start of the meeting. Superintendent Jonathan Raymond said concerns raised about the closure of Susan B. Anthony, Bret Harte and James Marshall warranted a second look.

Raymond said enrollment at Susan B. Anthony and Bret Harte will be affected by residential developments planned near the schools. The superintendent said he heard objections from some James Marshall parents whose children would have been zoned for A.M. Winn, which is transitioning to a Waldorf-inspired school.

The board is scheduled to vote on whether to close Tahoe Elementary or Mark Twain Elementary at a March 7 meeting.

"School closures are a part of what needs to happen in our district," School board president Jeff Cuneo said. "The fact is we have not enough kids for our schools at this time."

Update 11:55 p.m.: Trustee Jay Hansen, who may end up being the swing vote tonight, said there are long term gains to be had by closing schools, which may be hard for those experiencing the short term pain to see.

Hansen took a defensive tone with his comments, saying he's been surprised by the hateful emails he has received and felt some speakers tonight were disrespectful.

Hansen was appointed to the board in December to fill the vacated seat of Ellyn Bell. As part of his appointment interview, Trustee Darrel Woo asked Hansen what his thoughts were on school closures.

Hansen said they should be a last priority and should come after an open and transparent process.

Update 11:10 p.m.: In my story today, I wrote that sources told me that newly appointed board member Jay Hansen would be the swing vote for closures tonight.

Here's how that is playing out right now. Board members Darrel Woo, Jeff Cuneo and Patrick Kennedy have each spoken in support of doing the fiscally responsible thing by closing schools.

Board members Christina Pritchett, Gustavo Arroyo and Diana Rodriguez have each expressed grave concern with the closure process and the disproportionate effect on low-income and minorities communities in south Sacramento.

What about Hansen? He hasn't spoken yet.

Update 10 p.m.: Public comment continues 3 1/2 hours after the Sacramento City Unified board meeting began. There are about 10 speakers remaining before trustees will begin to discuss and vote on the school closures.

Update 9 p.m.: Several speakers have called the district's recommendation to remove three schools from the list of 11 slated for closure as "dividing and conquering."

A long list of speakers remain. Board won't begin discussing the closures until after public comment ends. In the meantime, check out the photo gallery by Bee Photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. by clicking HERE.

Update 8 p.m.: Public comment has begun at the Sacramento City Unified School District school board meeting, where more than 100 people have submitted speaker cards to address the board regarding the school closures. Each speaker is given two minutes. Just a dozen speakers in, many have gone over their two minute allotment.

So far, Superintendent Jonathan Raymond has pulled three schools from the closure list - Susan B. Anthony, Bret Harte and James Marshall elementary schools. Raymond said enrollment at Susan B. Anthony and Bret Harte will be impacted in the future by residential developments planned near the schools. The superintendent said there were reasonable objections from James Marshall parents whose children would have been zoned for A.M. Winn, which is transitioning to a Waldorf-inspired school.

Update 7:30 p.m. - Superintendent Jonathan Raymond said he is now recommending pulling James Marshall, Bret Harte and Susan B. Anthony elementary schools from the closure list.

Update 6:30 p.m. - The board room is packed, as was expected. As I drove up at 6 p.m., there were a few dozen people outside with signs protesting the proposed closures.

Former Sacramento City Unified board president Roy Grimes is here. Grimes said he had no comment on the current school closure proposal, but instead is here to urge trustees to engage the community moving forward.

Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell said she is here to offer support of community members.

"Parents are so upset," Pannell said. "They aren't sure about the process and neither am I."

Board President Jeff Cuneo just announced the beginning of the meeting. Check back.

---

Tonight's Sacramento City Unified School District school board meeting begins at 6:30. Check The Report Card for the latest news on the district's proposal to close 10 elementary schools at the end of this school year.

I will also be tweeting from the meeting, which you can read below or find me on Twitter @MelodyGutierrez. If you're reading this on your smartphone, follow me here.

I will be checking for reader questions on this blog, so feel free to post.

Latest Tweets




About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



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.

TELL US WHAT’S GOING ON AT YOUR SCHOOL
lkalb@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1073
Twitter: @LorettaSacBee

dlambert@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1090
Twitter: @dianalambert

Latest Tweets

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Great Schools

Find a school. Connect with parents. Worksheets & activities. Homework help. Parenting dilemmas.
http://sacbee.greatschools.org/

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31