Declining enrollment could lead to some Hayward schools closing

HAYWARD, Calif. (KRON) – Several schools in Hayward may be closing over the next few years for several reasons, declining enrollment is one of them. 

An initial proposal for school closures and new boundaries aims to better serve students in the Hayward Unified School District.

“We are built to serve over 24,000 students in this district and we currently have roughly 18,000 students,” spokesperson Dionicia Ramos said. 

The projections are that declining enrollment will continue. That is one of several findings of the district’s own two-year data-driven study behind the proposal to close eight schools in Hayward over the next three years. 

Another major finding, aging school facilities, some have been around for 80-years, says HUSD spokesperson Dionicia Ramos says aging school facilities.

“We have over $900-million in facilities needs. We are facing a $14-million budget shortfall leading into the next school year and that’s directly tied to declining enrollment,” Ramos said. 

Enrollment, which is tied to state funding, was already trending downward prior to COVID-19.

“Of those families that left the district in the last couple of years, about 2/3 of them left because they left the Bay Area completely,” Ramos said. 

This month a series of community town halls is giving parents, teachers, and students a chance to be a part of the conversation.

“It’s really important to emphasize that this is an initial proposal and nothing is final until reviews the recommendation and votes on November 17,” Ramos said.

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