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Bodega Bay school to stay open

Closing Bodega Bay Elementary School is no longer part of a list of budget cuts Shoreline Unified School District is considering after more than 50 Bodega Bay residents showed up at a meeting Thursday night to express their concern.

Before the audience could comment on the proposal, the school board announced it would keep the school open and look at alternative cuts.

“When that announcement was made, the room erupted in cheers and applause,” said Andrea Robertson, president of Bodega Bay Elementary’s PTA.

The closure was one of several suggestions the school board was considering as it tries to cut about $1.5 million annually from its budget, Superintendent Tom Stubbs said. The cuts are needed to offset a decline in funding from the federal government, which helps subsidize the district because it includes Point Reyes National Seashore, part of the National Park System.

Bodega Bay Elementary, which serves about 26 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, is the only Sonoma County campus in the Marin County-based district of five schools.

It costs the district $250,000 or more each year in operating costs alone, Stubbs said.

However, the school isn’t totally in the clear because the district still must find solutions to its budget problems within the next month or risk being taken over by the county or state, Robertson said. If the school board loses control, county or state education officials could revisit the proposal.

The district will next discuss potential cuts Sept. 8 at a 6 p.m. meeting at Tomales High School.

You can reach Staff Writer Jamie Hansen at 521-5205 or jamie.hansen@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jamiehansen.

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