TUSD parents urged to plead their case to board

CREATED Nov 21, 2012

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Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - They say knowledge is power.

Now, it's up to you to put that power to use to save your schools, eight of which are now one step closer to closing up shop for good, following Tuesday night's TUSD school board meeting.
For those whose schools sit atop TUSD's chopping block, the concerns are very real: crowded classrooms...
"It's hard just to be in public school itself, and it's, you don't have enough teachers for the student ratio.  It's overwhelming," said parent Raul Bustamente.
Kids left to fend for themselves...
"Especially since now you have your children that are in special classes and that need certain special attention, one on one attention," added Carmen Fuentes.
And simply, the sentimental factor.
"That's a wonderful school, and it's really sad because I have so many memories there.  I'll miss everybody," said Devin Bustamente, attends Menlo Park Elementary, one of the schools that will be voted on next week.
But what's also very real, is the sense that deal is already done.
"It's just the way the economy's been, you know?  It gets broker and broker everyday," said Raul Bustament.
When in fact, that's not so.
Tuesday night, in front of a full house, TUSD school board members voted to move forward in closing eight area schools.  The fate six more will be decided next week.
Board member Dr. Mark Stegeman says what most don't realize, is that this process is a long one, meaning no facility's fate is sealed.
"These are big decisions, and you simply cannot slam all this stuff through that quickly."
Stegeman says if you have concerns about possible closures, now is the time to state your case.
"Not just saying 'Please don't close my school', which I understand, but if you provide relevant new information that the board might not have, well that's important," he said.
There are two public hearings scheduled, concerning these closures.  They are December 8th and 10th, but Stegeman says it's often more effective to reach out to board members beforehand, via email.