Friday, April 17, 2009

The April 16 Board Meeting

Last night, five community members spoke to the OUSD Board of Trustees on behalf of Silverado Elementary School and our community.

Silverado resident Jeff Wilson, parent of a first grader at the school, presented the following request:

Please consider this our formal request to add the following action item to the May 12 board meeting agenda: the reconsideration of the closure of Silverado Elementary School. Accompanying this request are several documents that contain both updated and new information regarding our school. We believe that this information sheds new light as regards the decision to close Silverado Elementary, and justifies revisiting the issue.

It has come to our attention that we may not have clarified certain elements of our proposal to set up an environmental Science and Technology Charter School on the Silverado Elementary campus. Specifically we did not clarify the negative economic impact that closing the school would have on the Canyon Community. Furthermore, several budget issues have changed for the better for next year. Plus, we have secured potential pledges for funds to assist the process of setting up the charter, dependant on the school remaining open. It has also come to our attention that state funding may be available for Necessary Small Schools, which perhaps has not been investigated by the District. Finally, it is important to realize that closing Silverado Elementary would result in the Canyon Community being the only community within the Orange Unified District that will not have an elementary school a few minutes away from students' homes. (See map provided.)

One more extremely important point must be mentioned. It is expected that anywhere from 25 to 50 students will either transfer to another district or receive home schooling if Silverado Elementary closes. Even the most conservative estimate of 25 students will result in a loss of ADA revenue of more than $137,000 for Orange Unified District. The projected amount saved by the district if Silverado is closed is approximately $199,000 for the year 2009/2010. However, this figure does not include the interdistrict transfers and home schooling losses. In fact, the true “savings” figure for the district if Silverado closes is somewhere between $62,000 and an actual loss of over $100,00. This alone makes the closure a poor decision.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to review these documents.

Thanks to all the folks who took time to attend the meeting. Please keep keep communicating to the board and local elected officials. Educate them on the impact this closure will have on our community. Use the information on the sidebar to help you direct your letters and emails.

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