Poll: What Would Replace a School If It Was Closed?

If a school in the San Bruno Park School District was closed, could the district possibly raise the funding it needs to maintain its current operations by selling or leasing the property? What else could the site be used for?

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?

Bill Baker February 23, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Has anybody thought about a charter school? Here's the California Charter Schools Association website: http://www.calcharters.org/
Angelique February 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
SSF leases at lease two of their old schools to preschools. Foxridge Elementary to Friends to Parents and Hillside Elementary to Montessori
Ken Ibarra February 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
I guess as they say, "the plot thickens." Over the past years we've watched news reports from other school districts struggle with the decisions to close a school. It is a tragic reality for families and communities. Now it is here. With these new questions, one must ask if it's worth it. And, although one can speculate about the value of the property, is there going to be a survey/study to confirm that there is interest, or will the school lay vacant? And the remaining unanswered question, when will school districts consolidate or at least consider shared services?
Chris Kiely February 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Consolidation of services makes sense for lots of reasons, not just fiscal. We ask Schools to do so many thing beyond the core professional mission of teaching. It is expensive to do those things on a small scal You end up having administrators juggling so many things, often without much expertise. Seems to me that many things like maintenance, payroll, food services,financial services, benefits, HR, construction, legal, budgeting, transportation, state reporting, preparation of reoprts, office services,etc. could be handled centrally by one administrative group. Final control of the decisions would still be at each individual. But presenting the information would be centralized, and standards would be uniform. In my view Administration at a District level would be Principals and a Superintendent, who would be in charge of TEACHERS and TEACHING.
Heidi Beck February 23, 2012 at 08:05 PM
They are like any other schools -- some are great, others are lousy. Here's a recent editorial in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/opinion/shuttering-bad-charter-schools.html
Martin Ricard (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM
This has been a good discussion so far.


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