The trustees of the Twin Ridges Elementary School District voted 4-1 in January to close the 10-student Washington School after Superintendent James Berardi told them the closure would cut annual operating costs by $200,000.
Well, it turns out that number wasn’t anywhere close to accurate, little better than a guesstimate that apparently didn’t raise any red flags with the trustees. The district will save $108,000 next school year and about $45,000 a year by the 2018-19 school year, according to county Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen.
The district’s estimates apparently didn’t account for the fact that administrative salaries allocated to Washington School won’t disappear, but the state aid those students generate will disappear if they end up attending school in a different district. That’s likely because the district’s only school, Grizzly Hill, is an hour’s bus ride from Washington.
Board president Ralph Henson said it’s unlikely the board will reverse its decision to close the school. “You kind of look like fools for making a huge decision like that and reversing it…”, he told The Union. No kidding.
This is just one more example of why we have to consolidate our mom-and-pop school districts.