Grand Prairie ISD considering closing a school

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by GARY REAVES

WFAA

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 15 at 7:12 PM

GRAND PRAIRIE-  Grand Prairie Independent School District officials said they are so desperate to get its budget under control that one elementary school may be shut down next year to save money.

Officials believe they can save jobs by closing Garner Elementary. That would send teachers and students to other schools throughout the district.

Parents of student who attend the school said the district needs to find other ways to cut besides shutting down a school.

"Don't they understand that these are our children," said Danika Leek, mother of a kindergartner. "They are our future."

Garner is the district's smallest elementary school. Enrollment has also declined.

With the state slashing school funding, Grand Prairie ISD faces a deficit of $15 million to $26 million. If Garner is closed the district would save $1.5 million.

"When student enrollment gets to a certain level and facility usage is not being maximized it is one of those things we do look at," said Sam Buchmayer, Grand Prairie ISD.

Because the plan is not final, Leeks and other parents have mobilized to try and keep Garner open.

"They are short changing them," Leeks said. "To save some tax dollars, am I willing to spend a little more on taxes so that my son gets a good education? Absolutely."

Garner Elementary parents will meet with the superintendent of Grand Prairie ISD on Tuesday night.

Right now Grand Prairie ISD is the only  district out of ten in the surrounding area that has considered closing a school.

Email: greaves@wfaa.com

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