Closed schools could save district more than expected - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Closed schools could save district more than expected

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Closing or consolidating 10 San Diego Unified schools could save taxpayers more than originally projected, district staffers told the school board.

The district, faced with a $57 million budget deficit in fiscal 2012-13, agreed in June to close or consolidate 10 schools as a means of saving about $500,000 per school.

But the savings could exceed that, once other funding associated with the campuses is added in, staffers told the board Tuesday.

Several clusters, or groups of elementary and middle schools linked to a high school, may be affected by the closures: Mission Bay, Crawford, Hoover, Madison, Serra, Clairemont, Henry, Kearny, Morse, Point Loma and a cluster of atypical schools, according to district staff.

No official action was taken. A report on which schools to close is expected next month.

Board members discussed spending any savings in the cluster where it was realized, but Sheila Jackson said she did not support that idea.

"I understand why some communities feel this issue is important, but we are a unified school district," she said.

In deciding which schools to close, administrators will look at the enrollment over 10 years and compare that to the school's capacity, among other things. Representatives from schools in each cluster would be able to voice their opinions on which schools to close.

"These are all very difficult conversations," board member John Lee Evans said.

The board is expected to vote Dec. 13 on which schools to close.

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