I've done the research on what happens when a school closes, and it isn't good. I have attended the town halls and board meetings, and informed myself of the facts of the situation first hand. Thinking that the children will just be provided a school to go to is a misinformed. The process can be ugly and brutal, it pits neighbor against neighbor and community against community. Each district, the one closing down and the one receiving, have to have an election, just like this one, to decide if their children will go there. If it fails, then another election is held with another neighboring district. If that fails, the state comes in and starts making decisions...how does that ever work out well for communities like ours? THAT is how the process works. By the way, WE have to pay for the election.
Right now, YOU have a voice in the school board and how the school is run, regardless of whether or not you have children in that school - you have a voice in decisions that affect not only the education of the children in that school, but the very real affect that a prized high-ranking school will have on YOUR property values. If Lakeside closes, and the children get shipped off to other districts, you will lose your voice in how the school is run to people in another district. Right now, you have a DIRECT voice in what happens at Lakeside, parent or not. Do you realize YOU vote for the school board? Parent or not! Do you know you have a legal right to attend, SPEAK, and be recorded in public records at Lakeside school board meetings. Yes...whether you're a parent or not. If Lakeside closes, you will be giving your voice, your vote, and your power to people in another school district, and you will be doing it voluntarily. You will be giving up your control over what directly affects your property value to other people. How does that even make sense?
YOUR property values WILL decrease. Significantly. What is significant? How about 10% of your home value, if not more? 10%! Do the research, talk to real estate agents, lenders, and buyers organizations. They will confirm this with resounding consensus.
If your home is valued right now at $1,000,000 and Lakeside closes, plan on losing $100,000 to $150,000 on what is most likely your biggest investment almost immediately. Think you might be able to sell before the depreciation happens? Good luck. Ask any real estate expert, and they will tell you that a stable school district is one of the most important factors in the decision making process for prospective home buyers.
So, let's just look at the numbers, and take the conservative estimate...how long would it take you to recoup a $100,000 loss in your home value at $820/year savings?
$100,000 / $820 = 121.95
It would take you over 121 years to recoup the hit you will take to your biggest investment at $820/year. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE YEARS. How does THAT make sense?
Please, consider the facts and try to make your decision about Measure J logically. It doesn't need to be an emotional decision, simply a rational one.