Parents react to the closing of 11 DISD schools

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 27, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 27 at 9:54 PM

DALLAS - Tempers flared at Thursday's Dallas ISD board meeting Thursday night as residents fought to keep 11 schools from closing.

"I don't care who don't like what I say," said community activist Joyce Foreman while addressing the board. "I want you to understand, we do not want any of these schools closed."

Residents lost the fight. The board voted to shut down 11 schools to save the district more than $11 million.

It is the largest school consolidation in DISD history.

Reverend Ronald Wright recently led protests to keep H.S. Thompson Learning Center open, because it is an 'Exemplary' school and students will be bused to a school that ranks only as 'Acceptable.'

"It's sad when you have to shut down a school," Wright said. "This is how we teach and train our children, in the schools. And for you to shut down one of them speaks volumes to the city you live in and the area that you live in."

Friday parents reacted to the news of the closings.

"I'm upset about it," said parent Jessica Washington. "Because the school is a good school. It's really good. So I'm upset."

Art teacher Karen Leach said she'll have to look for another job.

"We kind of expected it, I mean, because there is two other schools across the street, but I guess hopefully we'll find jobs," Leach said. "We'll see what happens next."

Parents say they don't want children, especially younger ones, bused out of their neighborhoods. But starting next semester, that's a possibility.

A DISD spokesman said no student will be bused unless they absolutely need transportation. He also said teachers and principals from the closing campuses will be given the opportunity to apply for jobs within DISD and will most likely be placed.

The district said declining enrollment and economics are the reasons they are being forced to close the schools.

While they are out of use, the schools will be mothballed and maintained in case they need to be opened in the future.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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