Vallejo Unified school board votes on school closures

January 14, 2010 7:51:43 AM PST
The board of the Vallejo City Unified School District reached a long-awaited decision on which schools it will close and consolidate because of declining enrollment and budget deficits.

In a 4-1 vote, the five-member board decided to close Hogan High School in June 2011, Interim School Superintendent Reynaldo Santa Cruz said. Additionally, in the upcoming school year, Hogan High School will only host 10th- to 12th-grade students and 9th-grade students will attend the city's other two high schools.

In 2011, Springstowne Middle School will be relocated to the Hogan facility, and the Springstowne facility will be declared surplus and will be leased or sold, Santa Cruz said.

The board's vote also means Vallejo Middle School will close as a middle school in June 2011 and will reopen as a 9th-grade academy, serving students who would regularly go to Vallejo High School. Vallejo High School will remain open and serve 10th- to 12th-grade students, Santa Cruz said.

Sixth through eighth graders who would have attended Vallejo Middle School will be reassigned to the city's other middle schools, Santa Cruz said.

On Dec. 17, the board voted 3-2 to keep the Cave and Mare Island elementary schools open. The K-5 Mare Island school will transition into a K-8 school that will focus on a curriculum including performing arts, dance, nutrition and wellness studies in 2010-2011.

The Cave Elementary School will become an English-Spanish language academy.

The district held several community forums on the closure issue and the proposed closure of Hogan High School has met with the most opposition.

The school district claims it has lost 4,000 students in nine years resulting in a total loss of about $20 million in annual revenue in the past six years, district officials said. There are currently 15,500 students in the district.

Falling birth rates in the 1990s and this past decade and high school dropouts are cited for the falling enrollment.

The school district became financially insolvent in 2004 and received a $50 million state loan when it was taken over by the state. The district is paying $2.9 million a year to repay the loan.


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