The Sacramento City Unified School District has spent $1.5 million since March for six "priority schools" to undergo face-lifts and deep cleanings. And officials are seeing returns on the investment.
Targeted were Jedediah Smith, Father Keith B. Kenny and Oak Ridge elementary schools; Will C. Wood and Fern Bacon middle schools; and Hiram Johnson High School.
Superintendent Jonathan Raymond said those schools were failing the 4,600 students they serve. He set aside deferred maintenance money to power-wash the schools, repaint classrooms and improve landscaping.
At Johnson High, $220,580 was spent on interior classrooms and offices, $126,388 was spent on exterior buildings and $28,779 was spent on the parking lot and lawn, a district report states.
The report details a significant decrease in suspensions at each of the priority schools. In September, October and November 2009, those schools had 1,654 days of suspensions. In the same period this year, suspensions dropped to 427.
Schools get state money based on student attendance. A suspended student costs Sacramento City Unified $38.99 a day. The reduced suspensions generated $47,800.
- Melody Gutierrez