The South San Antonio (Texas) school board has voted to close three schools in the district at the end of the school year.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle and the district’s alternative school will cease operations later this year. Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra recommended closing the sites because of low enrollment and fiscal concerns.
As part of the closing plan, the board directed Saavedra to put together a committee of stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for facilities use and gather community input on how to best repurpose Kazen and Athens.
Enrollment in South San Antonio has dropped from 9,959 to 9,638 students, which has resulted in a $2.4 million loss in revenue, the district says. About 41 percent of classroom seats are empty, and projections indicate a continued decrease in enrollment.
The school closings mean students at Athens Elementary will be reassigned to Carrillo or Price elementary schools. Students at Kazen Middle will go to Dwight or Zamora middle schools. Students in the alternative school will be transferred to a program in another school district.
Saavedra says closing the three schools would save $3.1 million.
In a letter to parents, the superintendent asserted that the closings "will result in greater educational opportunities for your student."
"Although this was a difficult decision, the focus of the district continues to be providing all students with the best resources and tools to be successful now and in the future they create," says Saavedra.