Vallejo Unified is Staring Down a $22 Million Deficit. Its Superintendent is Now Recommending Big Changes.

The Vallejo City Unified School District could be headed for some major structural changes in an effort to close a $22 million structural deficit.

On Friday, Superintendent Adam Clark said he will recommend the closure/consolidation of two schools — Elsa Widenmann Elementary and Solano Middle — plus the relocation of the John Finney Continuation High School to the more centrally located site of the old Vallejo Middle School on Amador St.

VCUSD’s problems stem from a combination of declining enrollment, chronic absenteeism, charter schools, and increasing health and benefit costs, according to Clark. It’s a dilemma many other school districts are also facing, he added.

“Twenty years ago, VCUSD had a population of approximately 20,000 students and 22 schools," Clark said. "Today, our student enrollment is under 12,000, yet we continue to operate 22 schools” (Vallejo Times-Herald). He further noted that a $194 million bond measure approved by voters in November is limited to repairing aging facilities. The restructuring and consolidation plan must be completed before those funds are spent on renovating classrooms.

It is not clear how much the plan would save the district.