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SCHOOL HEADLINES: Got Milk, Got Schools, Got Cash?

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 3:11 pm in Schools.

amador valley hsIt’s been a busy week on the Bay Area education scene. In the happy news department, Pleasanton’s Amador Valley High took the “Got Milk” slogan one step farther. Students in their ROP Marketing Class snagged second place in a “Got Milk” ad contest and won $1,000 for their school (pictured, left). Now, they’ve “Got Money” too.

Folks aren’t looking so happy in other quarters, though. Martinez schools are looking for a new leader after superintendent’s John Triolo’s surprise announcement that he will be stepping down at the end of the month.

West Contra Costa just announced it would be shuttering schools next year, due to declining enrollment and budget woes. Closing an elementary school saves $300,000 a year. A middle or high school saves $800,000. Needless to say, parents are upset, but…

reporter Kimberly Wetzel says, according to district policy, these elementary schools are supposed to hold 450 to 800 students, and 24 out of the district’s 38 elementaries are below the minimum. All seven middle schools are below the baseline 900-1,200 enrollment, and three of the six high schools are below their 1,200-1,800 capacity. It’s an emotional issue for parents, for sure, but one can see why administrators have put this proposal on the table. Now comes the thorny issue: which schools and why?

Meanwhile, Mt. Diablo has the unhappy task of slicing at least $6.6 million from next year’s $284 million budget – and the even grimmer prospect of midyear budget cuts from Sacramento. Every school district is quaking in their collective boots over that one. We’ll see what happens next…

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