Sixth-grade move looks financially feasible

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
The population of Matilija Junior High School is on track to shrink to 325 students by the 2020/21 school year, according to OUSD Assistant Superintendent Sherrill Knox.
Matilija currently hosts 406 students.
Those numbers have renewed interest in potentially moving the District's sixth graders to Matilija and transforming the junior high to a middle school.
A District committee studied the issue in 2014, but decided against moving forward because then-Superintendent Hank Bangser predicted moving the sixth grade to Matilija would come with a $150,000 yearly price tag.
Due to continued declining enrollment, Superintendent Andy Cantwell does not believe Bangser's prediction will pan out.
“I believe strongly that when you look at our enrollment, both now as well as in the future, that we really aren't looking at anything near a $150,000 new expense, what you're looking at instead is potentially the lost opportunity of savings,” Cantwell said.

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