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Board Eyes Budget, But Spares Buena Vista Elementary from Shutdown

Carlsbad Unified trustees opt to close campus that houses Carlsbad Village and Seaside Academies.

’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.

Michael Nelms April 19, 2012 at 04:29 AM
I wish to retract my last post. Make that one arrogant board member.
Grandpa John April 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Thank you, CUSD! Now, Carlsbad parents will have a choice. Those who want their children distracted by gadgets in the classroom will be able to send them to Buena Vista Elementary, while parents who want their children to stay focused on literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking can breathe a little easier. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html?pagewanted=all)
Lisa K. April 19, 2012 at 05:20 PM
It was interesting to hear the board members' comments and their (mis)interpretation of CVA/CSA. Their assumption seemed to be that these alternate high school programs served disciplinary problem students. Data presented showed the contrary. CVA has the potential to become a progressive, career program "trade school" that recognizes those Carlsbad students opting for tech schools, etc., something other than 4 year State University path. Hello?
Grandpa John April 19, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Home values are $205,000 higher, on average, in neighborhoods with high-scoring public schools versus schools with low scores, according to a new report issued by the Brookings Institution. (http://economy.money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/living-near-good-schools-will-cost-an-extra-200k)
Ann G. April 20, 2012 at 12:50 AM
CUSD had an opportunity to lease out BV for a much larger profit then was mentioned last night, why it was not one of the options for the board and why Devin and Roach did not make this very solid option public is amazing. The revenue would have been much higher then the 200,000-400,000 that they said the district would save. The BV parents more likely then not would have loved the option that was presented to the district it was a win win for the parents and district, the BV parents could have been given a choice if the district let it be known what options they had before them. Some board members had no idea that such an option was presented to Devin and the district so they could not consider it in their vote. This will come to light and hopefully this matter is not over since last night the presentation went the way it did on false information presented. Just to be clear there was an option presented to Devin and I am sure he presented it to Roach that WOULD have made the district money and teachers who will get laid off may have had a place to go and for what ever their agenda they did not want us the public to know......I think they are scared to admit there are better ways to get a public education so lets just not talk about it! The option was solid and had a legal team that is very savvy on education and working with district so if Carlsbad wanted it to work it could have happened, why they did not is the question.
ForABetterCbad April 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Did the four Board Members that voted to keep BV open really do anyone any favors? By not voting to close BV, significant savings was lost. Those savings could be used to keep more teachers, and help not increase classroom sizes. That hurts all students in all schools. It is likely that the district’s financial difficulties will continue next year. It is realistic that the Board will again need to raise the issue of closing BV at this time next year. The Board Members will put the BV families through this process again, and will likely need the savings that is available. Even if BV enrollment was to increase because kids transferred from Magnolia to BV, the overall excess capacity still exists, and it will be prudent to combine BV into Magnolia for the significant financial savings.

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