SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Officials with the Evergreen School District in San Jose approved the closures and consolidations of two campuses Thursday night, as the district aims to address a growing budget deficit and declining enrollment.
The district’s Board of Trustees voted to close Dove Hill Elementary School and Laurelwood Elementary School at the end of the school year.
“As a former principal in our district, I am intimately aware of how this decision to close schools impacts the families and staff at those schools, which makes this decision all that more difficult,” Leila Welch, President of the Board of Trustees said in a statement. “However, our Board of Trustees is moving forward with this decision because we need to do what is best for all students as we face closing a $12 million financial shortfall and declining enrollment.”
Both Dove Hill and Laurelwood have been singled out as candidates for closure in the past, as each school had fewer than 300 students but have capacity for about twice as many.
Evergreen School District Superintendent Emy Flores told KPIX 5 last October that the district has lost roughly 2,500 students over the past decade. Another 443 students are expected to leave the district in the upcoming school year, with even more losses expected the following school year.
Flores suspected high housing costs were squeezing families out.
“They simply can’t afford to live in San Jose,” the superintendent said at the time.
The district said it is appointing a transition team to “facilitate a smooth transition” for students and staff of the Dove Hill and Laurelwood campuses.