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DISD Debating Merging Schools To Save Money

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The embattled Dallas Independent School District is looking into shutting down 11 schools and consolidating them with others as a way to cut into a $30 million budget shortfall heading into the 2012-2013 school year.

Pearl C. Anderson Middle School, in Pleasant Grove is on the list.  Dejeure Crawford blossomed as a young artist there.  His grandmother, Chris Balfour, doesn’t want it shut down.

“It feels like abandonment. That’s how I feel. It feels like abandonment. It doesn’t make sense to me,” she said.

There are nine elementary schools on the list and two middle schools. Closing them and consolidating them with other schools would save the district $11.5 million.

“I feel like that the district on us kids and they just want to save money for themselves,” Dejeure said.

Christine Puente-Gomez has two daughters who go to H.S. Thompson Elementary, another school on the list.  “We really don’t want them to have to go to another crowded school where they’re not going to be able to advance their education.”  Right now, both girls are on the honor roll.

The American Federation of Teachers worries not only about jobs but the community.  Rena Honea, head of the Alliance AFT, tells CBS 11 “To close that campus would be a huge effect on the economic growth, the businesses in that area. If the school isn’t there, people tend to move away.”

DISD says the legislature forced them to this point. “We’ve got to find some place that we can save $30 million, still educate our children with all of the amenities they deserve and need and yet be fiscally responsible,” says DISD board member Nancy Bingham.

DISD listed the names of schools recommended to close and consolidate as:

1)         City Park Elementary
2)         Julia C. Frazier Elementary
3)         Phillis Wheatley Elementary
4)         N.W. Harlee Elementary
5)         Arlington Park Elementary
6)         James W. Fannin Elementary
7)         James B. Bonham Elementary
8)         Oran M. Roberts Elementary
9)         H.S. Thompson Elementary
10)      D. A. Hulcy Middle School
11)      Pearl C. Anderson Middle School

There will be public hearings on the issue and a final decision from the board in January.

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