The Spring Branch (Texas) District is looking at closing one of its elementary schools because of a $35 million budget shortfall.
KPRC-TV reports that Treasure Forest Elementary School is at the top of the district’s first phase of proposed cuts. If the school board votes to move forward with the recommendations, students from Treasure Forest would go to either Ridgecrest or Housman Elementary School.
District leaders said Treasure Forest was chosen for a variety of reasons.
“We have to look at a couple of things,” said Superintendent Jennifer Blaine. “Not only are you looking at schools that are under-enrolled but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. You also have to look at what your backbone operation can support.”
District administrators also believe they could save close to $2 million by increasing the student teacher ratio at the high schools from 20 students to one teacher to 23 students to one teacher. This would result in teacher terminations.
The district anticipates delaying planned improvements at area schools. Spring Branch voters passed a 2017 bond to rebuild several elementary schools.
Sherwood Elementary, Spring Shadows Elementary, Terrace Elementary, Thornwood Elementary are the remaining schools to be rebuilt.
“We need to look at the demographics to decide, ‘do we really need to build four new schools or can we possibly build a bigger school and combine that into maybe three schools,” said board member Lisa Alpe.