Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, issued a statement today supporting a recommendation by Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jonathan Raymond calling for 11 under-enrolled elementary schools to be closed at the end of this school year.
Trustees will vote Thursday night on whether to close 10 elementary schools. A vote on whether to close Tahoe Elementary or Mark Twain Elementary is scheduled for March 7.
Here is Steinberg's statement:
"Closing a neighborhood school can be heartbreaking for students, parents and educators. I know Superintendent Raymond is making this recommendation with a heavy heart. I also know the pain of being forced to make drastic cuts that affect real lives when you're faced with budget deficits and a struggling economy.
"Unfortunately, the dramatic enrollment decline in Sacramento City Unified is out of anyone's control, creating an added burden on already strained district finances. The alternatives to closing under-enrolled schools would be far worse. No one wants to see across-the-board classroom and program cuts.
"Superintendent Raymond is not making his recommendation lightly, and I have confidence he is doing so after thoroughly exploring the viability of any other options. I support him in making this tough recommendation today for the sake of strengthening the district tomorrow, and most of all to ensure quality education for all of our students. I urge the SCUSD School Board members to support him as well."