Austin ISD parents weigh in on recommended school closures

Some Austin ISD school campuses are slated for closure, and it's not sitting well with some parents.

Sanchez, Joslin, Brooke, Norman, Ridgetop, and Web Elementary schools are on the list to close. Add to that list, Dawson and Read-Pre-K.

In addition, ALC alternative school is recommended, along with Dobie Pre-K, which is a portable facility. Dobie and ALC are not counted in the class of school campuses in this case.

School officials say consultants came to this decision after evaluations of the campuses. These were recommendations based on a round of studies from consultants, facilities and bond planning advisory committee and public feedback. They recommended the closure based on underutilization, structural damage, consolidation, as well as efficiency needs.

AISD says closing these schools would save tax payers $10 to $15 million a year. Despite that, several parents want to keep their neighborhood schools how they are. Many Ridgetop Elementary parents say they like the dual language program the way it is and the small class sizes.

“Had I sent my children to the school by our house, which is in the district of course. They would have been with children who look exactly like them and just learn in English. They also would've gone to a school that has 900 students, and that was not what we wanted,” said Ridgetop parent Sharon Munroe.

“We care deeply for this school. We think we have something extremely special here and we don't want to have that taken away,” said another Ridgetop parent Ryan Parks.

T.A. Brown Elementary, which closed three months ago, remains closed. Officials say they have not put together a bond package to demolish and rebuild yet. There will be seven more community meetings on these recommendations, before a decision is expected in March.

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