School Closure

Adopted March 1980 – Revised May 2013 – Education Commission

California State PTA believes that while school closure is sometimes a necessity to decrease school district problems due to declining enrollment and financial constraints, and is often viewed negatively, it can be an opportunity to improve the quality of education. The real acceptance and success of school closure depends upon demonstrated need, positive attitudes and total involvement of the community. In considering school closure, PTA supports:

  • Early and ongoing involvement of all those affected – parents, students, teachers, administrators, staff, board of education, and community;
  • Appointment of a broadly representative committee that is charged with making a study that includes alternatives and making recommendations within a specific time period;
  • Making all committee meetings open to the public;
  • Use of a clear and defined plan of action;
  • The concept of a districtwide facilities master plan;
  • Formation of goals and objectives that meet Education Code requirements and student needs, and give highest priority to maintenance or improvement of a quality program for every student;
  • Wide use of informational meetings and media coverage;
  • Specific efforts to overcome negative attitudes and resistance to change;
  • Decisions based on elements that include: location of students; amount of disruption; enrollment projections and housing trends; cultural, socio-economic and ethnic balance; safety; transportation; and facilities—size, quality, type, community use, and operating and closing costs;
  • Acceptance of the legal authority of the school board to make the final decision;
  • Inclusion in the school board’s report of its final decision, the rationale for the assignment of students and personnel, and a plan for community involvement to facilitate a smooth transition;
  • A plan assuring community involvement in recommending priorities to the school board for future re-use, redevelopment or disposition of closed sites; and
  • Acceptance of the ongoing need for long-range planning.

Through involvement in the community, unit, council and district PTAs can play an important role in achieving understanding of issues in school closure and in building public acceptance for action taken. PTA can provide leadership by attending meetings of school boards, talking with school administrators and parents about the needs of students, and being available to serve on committees.

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