Dr. Herrington to present feasibility study on SRCS unifying or unionizing with feeder districts
Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D., is scheduled to present a feasibility study analyzing proposals for reorganizing Santa Rosa City Schools and its nine feeder elementary school districts. The report will outline scenarios for unifying two or more districts or consolidating elementary schools and establishing a TK-6 union school district. The study examining three different proposals for the 10 school districts will be presented during a special board meeting and study session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. While the meeting will be held at the Santa Rosa City Hall Council Chambers, 100 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404, due to limited seating, it will also be viewable online.
Santa Rosa City School District trustees requested the County Superintendent of Schools to conduct an independent feasibility study regarding the potential for operating one or more unified school districts within the current territorial boundaries of its high school district. This is an information item only and there will be no recommendation for action at this board meeting. At a later date, the board would need to provide the County Office with direction regarding which feasibility scenario they would like to pursue. The follow-up report will then concentrate on the educational component for the selected scenario and is anticipated to be completed this winter.
Dr. Herrington will present the study along with Christy White, the CPA whose firm Herrington selected following a careful review and public bidding process. Erin Stagg, legal counsel to the Sonoma County Committee on School District Organization, will be present to answer questions about next steps should one or more governmental agencies wish to pursue any of the scenarios. Greg Medici, deputy superintendent of business support services, and Sarah Lampenfeld, director of external fiscal services, both from the Sonoma County Office of Education, will be on hand to answer questions specific to any of the involved districts’ finances.
Multiple SRCS Boards have had to make major budget reductions of over $20M in the last several years. The board continues to look at all options as the district and its feeder districts continue to deal with a five-year countywide trend of 16.2% declining enrollment.
The Santa Rosa area districts included in this study are: Bellevue Elementary School District; Bennett Valley Elementary School District; Kenwood Elementary School District; Mark West Elementary School District; Piner-Olivet Elementary School District; Rincon Valley Elementary School District; Roseland Elementary School District; Santa Rosa City Elementary Schools; Santa Rosa High School District; and Wright Elementary School District.
An agenda packet for the meeting will be posted by SRCS on its website in advance of the meeting. Attendees planning to attend in person should note that only 17 seats are available for public use. For more information on virtual attendance (including how to watch, give public comments and listen in Spanish), visit srcschools.org.