Still shaking my head at the superintendent’s analysis I quoted here. By using district-wide average costs, instead of the actual cost of running Hoover, and by pretending that relocating over three hundred students won’t cause any increase at all in non-teaching expenses at their new buildings, the superintendent concluded that it would cost $675,000 annually to keep Hoover open. The real figure is probably much closer to $200,000. (I say “probably” because I live in a district where information often has to be pieced together imperfectly by bloggers or on Facebook, rather than provided with any accuracy or transparency by our paid administrators.)
By substituting the average cost for the actual cost, the administration not only inflates the cost of running Hoover, it also understates the cost of running the new, much bigger schools that it has already committed itself to building. In my view, there’s no looking back on opening the new elementaries; the district should open them at less-than-full capacity and allow them to grow as neighborhoods are built around them. But the administration should be candid about how much it’s going to cost to run those schools.
Given the superintendent’s math, it’s little wonder that the administration keeps talking about closing more schools. Two great questions for school board candidates: Do you agree with the superintendent that we can save $675,000 annually by closing a school? If we can reap that kind of savings by closing schools, how many more schools should close?