The Central Valley School Board heard two proposals this week for developing four-year high schools.
Each involved creating a third high school out of a junior high - at either Horizon or North Pines.
Individually, all four of the board members in attendance expressed support for moving to a four-year configuration.
However, the board took no action at its meeting Monday on either proposal. And it’s likely to be quite some time before any such proposal becomes reality.
The reason? A drop in local levy funds imposed by the Legislature.
Starting in the 1997-98 school year, the school district will operate on a 20 percent operating levy, rather than a 24 percent. That will cost Central Valley between $700,000 and $800,000 over each of the next two years.
Craig Holmes, the school board’s legislative representative, said he was not encouraged about the chances of the Legislature returning the levy lid to 24 percent this year.
Superintendent Wally Stanley reminded the board that the district would have a challenge maintaining current programs given that loss of money - never mind handling start-up costs for new programs.
The two four-year proposals each involve estimated start-up costs of $500,000 or more, the parent committee said.
The two proposals also differed significantly.
The first involves creating a third independent high school, with a full set of academic and extracurricular programs. That proposal was set at Horizon, where a 29-acre campus would allow for growth. That school would start with about 500-600 students.
Start-up costs would be at least $500,000, including athletic uniforms and equipment, band uniforms and equipment, and library, technology and science lab improvements, the committee estimated. Ongoing costs would be at least $60,000 a year for transportation and an anticipated cost of about $100,000 for extra-curricular staff salaries.
The second proposal was for a branch campus. High school students, ninth through 12th graders, would commute from University and Central Valley high schools to the branch campus in morning and afternoon shifts. It’s not clear exactly what courses would be offered at the branch campus, but certain advanced classes, which now have very few students enrolled, would go there. That campus would also accommodate about 500-600 students to start. No athletics or music programs would be involved.
Start-up costs were estimated at about $760,000. Eight new school buses would cost about $560,000, and $200,000 would go toward science lab and library and technology center improvements.
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