Budget woes threatens one-room school

May 28, 2008 9:07:37 PM PDT
You've heard it over and over how times are tough. The latest example of that comes from Napa County, where new financial strains are threatening a school with old fashioned values.

It is one of the more unique schools anywhere in this nation. Woodland Valley is high in the hills above Napa.

There is a big difference in ages, and how fifth graders teach 5-year-olds.

But in a one-room school, that's how they do it.

"They maybe counting by two's and they may be multiplying by 200, but it's all math," said teacher Leann Ohlandt

And now it appears that math has become a problem, because the school district budget numbers do not add up.

Superintendent John Glaser faces a possible $4 million in cuts.

"If we can find a way to keep it viable, I think we will try to keep it open," said Glaser.

But the closing of this school would have extra significance, because Woodland Valley dates back to 1851, and the original building is still kept out back.

It is the longest running one-room school in California.

This is history. How can they take it away from everybody?" said grandparent Marlene Wynn.

Parents learned of the possible closure on Tuesday night and their kids are still reeling from possibilities.

Many, like Emily Whitmire, have never gone anywhere else.

"What do you get out of this school that you would miss?" asked ABC7's Wayne Freedman.

"A Family," said Whitmire.

The district insists that it has not reached a final decision, and will consider all options.

"I think you have to be mindful of history and aware of its impact on people and their lives. But you have to look at the greatest possible good for the largest number of kids," said Glaser.

For a one room school with 25 students in one room, that sounds ominous.

"Should this be about money?" asked ABC7's Wayne Freedman.

"No, I Think it should be about learning and education," said Whitmire.


Load Comments