Burroughs, Buffum Schools May Close

(A handout on proposed school boundary changes is available here.)

Burroughs and Buffum elementary schools may be closed after this school year due to declining enrollment and the state’s massive cuts to public education.  The Board of Education at its regular meeting this week began considering the closure of the two schools, and a formal vote on the matter could occur as early as Feb. 1.

As part of the Long Beach Unified School District’s continued cost-cutting efforts, school district staff have been examining the possible closure of smaller school campuses to improve efficiency.

“By closing these smaller campuses, we would save valuable resources that would help to maintain our fiscal solvency and our high quality programs,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser stated in a recent letter to Burroughs and Buffum parents.

Staff recommended the closure of the two schools in part because Burroughs and Buffum have relatively small numbers of students.  Buffum has 295 students and is located at 2350 Ximeno Ave. in Long Beach.  Burroughs has 291 students and is located at 1260 E. 33rd St. in Signal Hill.

In both cases, other nearby schools have the capacity to serve the displaced students.

Declining enrollment districtwide has exacerbated budget woes because schools receive most of their funding based on student attendance.  The small numbers of students at Burroughs and Buffum have reduced the efficiency of those schools.  LBUSD’s enrollment has declined by about 14,000 students over the past decade.

If the school board approves the closures, school district staff will hold informational meetings for parents regarding student placement for the 2011-12 school year.  At this week’s board meeting, school district staff presented the board with proposed school boundary changes that would allow schools near Burroughs and Buffum to accommodate the displaced students.  The proposed boundary changes are available here.

The closure of the two schools would save nearly $1.3 million annually.

Burroughs and Buffum opened in 1950.