No decisions were made today by the committee charged with recommending to the San Diego Unified School Board which schools to close to save costs as a budget crisis looms for the district. Superintendent Terry Grier tasked the committee with choosing 10 to 12 low-enrollment schools that could save the district money if they were closed and their students were sent to other schools, sparing the costs of building upkeep and administration.

The group was supposed to decide today which schools, if any, were exempt from closure, and whether any factors should not be considered in making their choices. Instead the group debated whether to include factors such as redevelopment plans and nearby highways. They also heard concerns from the audience, which included dozens of parents and staffers from threatened schools such as Cubberley Elementary.

Jim Varnadore, who leads the committee, prodded it to add an extra meeting to ensure that the group would finally do the dirty work of assembling a list of schools to close, and get a recommendation to the school board by the end of January.

“I can find reasons to not close this school, that school, or any school,” Varnadore said, and added, “But sooner or later, we have to make a decision.”

Their recommendations will go to the school board, which will make any final decisions on school closures.

EMILY ALPERT

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