With the San Bruno Park School District expecting to move sixth graders to Parkside Intermediate next year, and with declining enrollment and less help from the state, school funding has been one of the main reasons the district has opened up discussions about possibly closing a school.
It raises the question: Could closing a school actually put the necessary money back into the district's coffers so that it could maintain its current operations?
In the , we asked whether a possible school closure would lead to a better educational environment for students. These discussions are about the kids, after all. The majority of people said it wouldn't.
So for today's poll, let's just look at the numbers.
At Tuesday's school closure committee meeting, Superintendent David Hutt mentioned that each school district in the state would be losing $370 per student next year and that the district is looking to have $960,000 less than what it has this year because of state budget constraints.
When someone asked whether a school closure could possibly raise the funding the district is looking for, Hutt said he had doubts.
"The way I see it, closing a school is not going to raise $960,000," he said.
At the committee's Feb. 7 meeting, a consultant provided advice on how a school closure could generate revenue for the district. Tom Shannon of Enshallah, Inc, said undeveloped land could be sold for $1 million per acre in the current market, depending on city zoning laws. A school could also lease classroom space to a private school at $1 per foot a month, Shannon said.
Here is a breakdown of the acreage and square footage of each school, according to the Feb. 7 meeting minutes:
- Allen: 10 acres, 29,000 square feet
- Belle Air: 10 acres, 33,000 square feet
- Crestmoor: 10 acres, 24,000 square feet
- El Crystal: 3 acres, 19,000 square feet
- Hesselgreen and district office: 2 acres, 24,000 square feet
- John Muir: 12 acres, 24,000 square feet
- Portola: 16 acres (5 acres have already been identified as surplus), 42,000 square feet
- Rollingwood: 16 acres, 32,000 square feet
So if a school was closed and sold or leased, what could be put in its place to bring in the necessary revenue for the district?