9OYS Education Alert

TUSD school board moves forward on closures of 8 schools

CREATED Nov 21, 2012

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Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Eight area schools are officially one step closer to closing their doors for good -- and more may be on the way -- as the district attempts to close a $17 million budget gap.

Tuesday night at Catalina High School, TUSD school board members reasoned their way through the decision to close up to 15 schools in front of a packed house.

During three hours of public comment, dozens pleaded their case, asking board members to save their schools.

Tuesday's votes were the first of many actions needed to effectively close the schools.

When the time came to choose, not everyone was ready to take the plunge.

"I don't see really the concrete harm to postponing a week and having a little time to look at some of these difficult issues," said Dr. Mark Stegeman.  "I think for example Cragin and Hollinger present difficult issues."

Board members ended up postponing votes on Hollinger and Cragin until next week.

They did the same with four others -- Pueblo Gardens Elementary, Brichta, Menlow Park and Manzo Elementary.

The board voted to close Hohokam Middle School, Carson Middle School, Schumaker Elementary, Fort Lowell at Townsend, Corbett Elementary, Lyons, Sewell Elementary and Howenstine High School.

The lone school to be saved? Frances J. Warren Elementary.

Board members will hold public forums regarding the votes coming up next month, on Dec. 8 and 10.