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South San ISD parents to see potential school closure list next month

District held second of six meetings Monday

SAN ANTONIO – South San ISD parents will get a first look at a list of potential schools up for closure next month. The information was revealed Monday during the second of six meetings the district is hosting.

By the third meeting at Dwight Middle School on March 28, Superintendent Avelardo Saavedra said he will "lay out a plan to the community that we intend to recommend to the board a few weeks later."

The final two meetings discussing the plan will be at Kazen Middle School the following day, and then Shepard Middle School on March 30. Each meeting begins at 6:15 p.m.

Given the situation, Saavedra says closing schools just 'simply makes sense.'

The 9,600 students enrolled in the district is lower than the projected worst case scenario and expected to drop.

The superintendent says people just aren't having kids and there's competition.

Two new charter schools are being built right in the heart of the district.

Currently the district is losing more than a million dollars in revenue every year and that number expected to grow.

"We need to be able to redirect some of those resources that are being spent inefficiently because we are having to air condition empty classrooms," Saavedra said.

Of the four middle schools in the district, more than half of their capacity sits empty.

Some parents weren't happy.

"Come on guys, wake up," said Angelita Olvera to the crowd of just more than 100 before being eventually interrupted by a speaker that the meeting was over.

Olvera, who has a niece and nephew in the district, says back when school board members were running for office, they promised no schools would close.

"These parents need to speak up. These board members already made up their mind what they want to do," Olvera said.

Parent Robert Mota, whose son is in kindergarten at Athens Elementary, says the schools the district calls "inefficient" have something in common

"The schools I've heard they want to close are in this area, this is the poorest part of town," said Mota.

The school board is expected to make a decision on April 19.