Report Card

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

February 19, 2013
Sac City Unified teachers union opposes school closures

schoolclosure2.jpgTwo days before trustees in Sacramento City Unified vote on whether to close 11 elementary schools, the district's teachers union came out today against the proposal.

The Sacramento City Teachers Association has for years called on school board members to close under-enrolled schools to address declining enrollment. However, the union said in a media release today that the district's current proposal is flawed and lacked stakeholder input.

SCTA said the current proposal was "brought forth unilaterally by the district."

Below is the media release from SCTA.

Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) Representative Council Opposes the District Plan to Close 11 Schools, Calls the District's plan 'Unacceptable,' Calls for More Inclusive Process to Start Immediately.

SCTA Representative Council, representing 2700 teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses and psychologists, voted not to endorse the school closure plan brought forth unilaterally by the District.

SCTA will wholeheartedly support closures as a sound financial decision, one for which we have been advocating for several years without success. But we are adamant that the painful process of selecting sites for closure must be a well-conceived, democratic process involving all stakeholders.

The list of schools slated for closure is not, as Board President Cuneo would have us believe, based on a strict "percentage of enrollment to capacity" basis. The Superintendent's priority schools were skipped en masse, despite low enrollment numbers. Schools with greater space utilization were placed on the list and others with lower capacity utilization were not. Middle schools and high schools were not considered, despite some schools serving as few as 200 students. Parents and employees who are a part of these communities were not even consulted in the choice of the schools that were selected to close.

SCTA proposes to immediately invite representatives of the District, and those groups affected by school closures, to convene and work to select sites based on a thoughtful, collective decision. As it's only February, this important process can be easily accomplished together before the end of the School Year.

The Sacramento City Teachers Association has advocated for working collaboratively to consolidate and close schools for several years. "When you work together to come up with a solution that helps our district manage the taxpayers' money responsibly and come up with outcomes that burden children and parents the least...that's real progress," says Scott Smith, SCTA president.

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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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Twitter: @dianalambert

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