Community speaks out against closing 2 Austin ISD elementary schools

The new year is bringing big changes to Austin ISD.

AUSTIN – Parents of students at two East Austin schools voiced concerns Monday night during the last Austin ISD Board of Trustees meeting of 2017, hoping to prevent the consolidation of those campuses.

Save East Austin Schools is trying to prevent the consolidation of Norman and Sims Elementary Schools.

Under the $1 billion bond passed by voters in November, Austin ISD will close one school and consolidate the students and staff into the other. The district will then rebuild the school that remains open.

The planning team that is spearheading the plan has until Jan. 16, 2018 to determine which campus will close, and the two schools would open in August 2018 as one consolidated campus while the new school is built. Austin ISD said the continuing trend of declining enrollment in some areas of the district has created challenges that need to be addressed.

"We can bring young people and their parents back into the school system you have 10 of hundreds of dollars of the targeted utilization monies we can also repurpose, rebrand, remarked our Eastside schools," said East Austin parent Angela Valenzuela.

Board members did not comment on the possible closures during the Monday meeting, nor did it take action on the proposal. It will be addressed at its January 2018 meeting.

Trustee Ed Gordon, who was not present Monday, has stated in the past that the district ensured school communities that before any closures are done the district would work with them to help boost enrollment.

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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