’s doors will stay open, the Carlsbad school board decided Wednesday night in a decision cheered by an audience of hundreds.
But the Board of Trustees opted to relocate the Carlsbad Seaside and Village Academies in an effort to save money.
The board voted 4-1 to leave Buena Vista open after Assistant Superintendent Devin Vodicka informed trustees that the district would save only an estimated $270,000 to $410,000 each year and after nine public commenters spoke out against its closure.
“Short term, I’d say close it, save some money—it’s the right thing to do now,” Vodicka said. “But looking long term I’m not convinced it would be the right thing five or 10 years from now.... It’s a high stakes decision.”
Veronica Williams was the only board member to vote for its closure.
The board also voted 4-1 to adopt a recommendation to move the Carlsbad Seaside and Village Academies to next school. The transition would have the support of four teachers and would save an estimated $300,000 a year.
Vodicka said it would give the district time to find other ways to save money.
“Our recommendation is to relocate the program to Carlsbad High for next year and to spend time now looking at a multiyear plan that includes Sage Creek,” he said. “Meantime, we may look into moving the district office to the CVA/CSA campus.”
The board approved the recommendation with President Keilli Moors stating that it was the district’s job to ensure a balanced budget.
“This is about money, only about money—not about effectiveness of the school,” she said. “One of our duties is to adopt a balanced budget. I do think we are out of choice. I am supporting the district recommendation with a heavy heart.”
The district expects to have a budget shortfall of about $2.4 million next school year and $9 million the following school year.
The more than three-hour meeting at the attracted hundreds of attendees who spoke about the need for funding.