Changes to San Diego Unified School District could be drastic, and they’re coming quickly.
Earlier this year, slashes to the budget have included cutting teacher pay raises. Now, $5 million worth of cuts need to be made to meet the budget deficit.
Throughout the next few weeks, discussions will be held to figure out which schools to “realign” or close within the district.
Clusters have been identified in which to make certain changes. There are eight total -- Mission Bay, Clairemont, Crawford, Henry, Hoover, Kearny, Madison, Morse, Serra and Point Loma.
Jack Brandais from SDUSD’s communication department said there was a series of meetings with school officials, parents and community members to identify these clusters.
In order to cut costs to SDUSD’s massive budget deficit, a committee designed specifically for the realignment and closure purpose has looked into a variety of options – and it has already made a few recommendations.
So far, they’ve suggested shutting down Crown Point Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle School, Cadman elementary and an elementary school within the Henry cluster that has yet to be selected.
Pacific Beach Middle School would then move to Mission Bay High School to become a grade 6 through 12 IB Academy. It would be the first comprehensive combination middle and high school in the SDUSD, according to Brandais.
The committee has not suggested closing any schools in Mira Mesa and University City so far.
Should the schools close, the space could be used for other purposes which include renting to charter or magnet schools, or government office use.
While the suggestions are not yet finalized, and are merely one of many steps in the process, officials will be hearing public input throughout the next few months.
But the time for discussion is running out.
“We’re under a crime crunch here, the day after labor day of next year everything has to be complete,” Brandais said. “We need to be settled on this by the beginning of December.”
Any major changes, such as relocating students or constructing new units, have to be complete in time for next school year, forcing SDUSD to fast track this project.
This might not be the end of the slashes to education funding. Brandais said up to $50 million more could be cut in the future.
The first meeting will be at 5:45 p.m. Thursday at Marston Middle School. SDUSD has set up a website with the full discussion schedule and presentations.