After the school board voted to close Holbrook and Glenbrook, I wrote a blog post questioning whether the district would really save $1.5 million.
Since then, the district has updated its projected cost savings, but questions remain about whether it will in fact reach its goal to save $1.5 million.
As reported last week by West Contra Costa school district reporter Shelly Meron, that school board unanimously voted on June 1 to keep Shannon Elementary open, reversing a 2009 decision, after realizing it would cost more to close the school and move the students than to keep the school open.
An analysis of the Mt. Diablo district’s costs versus savings shows that similarly, it could cost the district more to close Glenbrook than to keep it open — at least for the next two years.
According to the district’s revised estimates, it will save $510,000 a year by closing Holbrook and $741,396 by closing Glenbrook, for a total of $1,251,933. This still leaves nearly $250,000 more to reach the $1.5 million goal, which has not been demonstrated to the board.
However, the district’s estimates don’t include money lost from the Glenbrook School Improvement Grant and the after-school ASES grants, or the cost of hiring new staff and moving students and staff.
The district received a $1.7 million three-year School Improvement Grant for Glenbrook, at $584,002 per year. It will lose two years of the grant, or $1,168,000, plus $57,000 from this year’s grant that was supposed to pay for a four-week summer school intervention program. So, the total SIG money lost is $1,225,000.
According to Superintendent Steven Lawrence’s PowerPoint presentations, the district could lose $346,500 in ASES grant money for Glenbrook and $201,500 in ASES funds from Holbrook, for a total of $548,000. He later revised these numbers, saying the district might be able to retain $74,775 for Glenbrook and $16,672 for Holbrook. His Feb. 22 PowerPoint also included lower estimates for the grants, referring to a $189,000 “base grant” for Glenbrook and a $139,500 “base grant” for Holbrook.
Using the lower estimates, this means the district could possibly keep $91,000 out of $328,000 in grants, for a loss of $237,553.
In the same Feb. 22 PowerPoint, Lawrence estimated that 250 additional students at El Dorado would require the district to “expand the food lines at El Dorado.” No cost estimate for this was given.
Further, he estimated the district may need to hire one or two additional vice principals, at a cost of $102,000 each.
Finally, he estimated the district would need to spend $20,000 to $30,000 per site on moving costs.
So, here’s the breakdown with all costs considered:
GLENBROOK: save $741,396 per year (x2 = $1,482,792)
Subtract 584,002 per year (x2 = $1,168,004 + $57,000 = $1,225,004)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: $157,394; 2 years: $257,788
Subtract at least $102,000 for 1 vice principal ($204,000 for 2)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: $55,394; 2 years: $155,778
Subtract at least $115,000 for ASES loss (up to $346,500)
SUBTOTAL SAVINGS: ($59,606); 2 years: $40,778
Subtract at least $20,000 for moving costs (up to $30,000)
TOTAL SAVED PER YEAR: ($79,606); $20,778 (or less if higher estimates are used)
Based on this, it looks like the district could actually spend nearly $80,000 in 2010-12 to close Glenbrook and may save $20,778 at most in the second year.
HOLBROOK: save $510,537; 2 years: $1,021,074
Subract at least $122,828 for ASES (up to $201,500)
Subtract at least $20,000 for moving (up to $30,000)
TOTAL SAVINGS: $367,709; 2 years: $735,418
In combining the savings for the two schools, it appears that the district could save at most $288,103 in the first year by closing both schools and at most $756,196 after two years. This number would be reduced if two vice principals are hired and if the higher ASES loss estimates and moving costs estimates are used.
This means the district still appears to be more than $1.2 million shy of its goal of saving $1.5 million next year.
However, board president Gary Eberhart told me today that he is confident the district will realize the expected savings, based on the plan to relocate special education students on the Glenbrook campus. He also said the Glenbrook SIG paid for additional costs, which will go away.
The SIG helped pay for counselors, professional development and a librarian. These services for Glenbrook’s low-income population will also be lost.
Are you satisfied that the district will save $1.5 million, according to Lawrence’s estimates?