The district has experienced a decline in enrollment in recent years
PASO ROBLES – On November 10, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) hosted a community meeting at Flamson Middle School to discuss elementary and middle school attendance and the possible school closure.
Superintendent Curt Dubost opened the meeting by saying, “The district is currently experiencing a steadily declining trend in enrollment, as are about half of the state’s school districts. Most experts attribute this fact to the high cost of living in the region for young families with children, especially for housing.
He went on to explain that with limited funds and a drop in enrollment, a school closure is possible. Georgia Brown Elementary School has been said to be the most likely option for closure due to the amount of funds it would take to repair the campus. However, it was clarified that the double immersion program would be moved if Georgia Brown closed its doors.
Assistant Superintendent Brad Pawlowski gave a presentation outlining the planned enrollments and two options staff are exploring as solutions to make the district run more efficiently.
The first option involved changing the school boundaries, and the second option would include closing the Georgia Brown campus and relocating the double immersion program. Georgia Brown Elementary School is currently a tycoon school that uses a Spanish-English curriculum with the goal that students will be fluent in both languages by the time they complete K-5 grades.
The community has spoken out against the closure of the Georgia Brown campus on several occasions.
Pawlowski reaffirmed Dubost’s previous statement regarding Georgia Brown: “This is not about shutting down or eliminating the double immersion program located at Georgia Brown, it is just about shutting down the physical site and moving the program. of double immersion on another campus. “
Initially, the money from the M Measure bail was used to renovate Georgia Brown and Glen Speck Elementary School, which is now complete.
Measure M is a general obligation approved by voters in November 2016 and valued at $ 95 million. This is an additional tax that owners within the attendance limit have assumed, by paying a supplement on their annual property tax bill. These revenues are paid to the PRJUSD to be used for the improvement of the fixed asset installations.
Pawlowski says that the money initially allocated to renovate Georgia Brown Elementary School in 2017 was never enough to allow for the full renovation that was needed based on current enrollments.
“Measure M is sold in multiple series, so we sold Series A and Series B. It’s valued at $ 70 million,” Pawlowski said.
He says they still have unsold bonds worth $ 25 million.
“So out of the money we sold there is still $ 5 million unspent. So when you put the $ 5 million and the $ 25 million together, you have $ 30 million left, “said Pawlowski – not enough to fix Georgia Brown Elementary School.
Pawlowski says they still have Georgia Brown’s renovation funds, and they haven’t spent the money on anything else, but it could be reallocated to other projects.
“We would make the decision to reassign once the board decided on attendance limits and a possible school closure,” Pawlowski said.
After the presentation, the participants split into groups led by the principal of each school campus. Each manager was to record all questions, concerns and comments.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss solutions and gather feedback; no decision was made as to what would happen.