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Oakland Closing Small Schools – Should Alameda do the Same?

The East Bay Express is reporting that the Oakland school district is looking to close some small schools – they cost just as much or more to operate as large ones. Given Alameda Unified School District’s funding problems, should AUSD look at closing some of their smaller schools?

According to the report “At the same time, data collected over the past several years show that small schools are financially inefficient. They cost more to operate per student than mid- and large-size schools.” Oakland considers a school “small” if it has 360 students or fewer.

As we reported in May, Franklin school is AUSD’s smallest elementary school, with a capacity of 274 students. Franklin has been perpetually over-enrolled these past few years, while nearby Washington Elementary school, with a capacity of 437 students, is perpetually under-enrolled.

The AUSD board is going to have to make some hard decisions soon, if the Measure H lawsuits aren’t resolved in their favor. It’s worth noting that Measure H’s biggest proponents were parents with children at Franklin school, and at Otis and Edison schools, the 3rd and 2nd smallest elementary schools in Alameda, respectively.

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