Parents ask Austin ISD board to reconsider school closures

A group of concerned parents are calling on the Austin ISD Board of Trustees to reconsider closing several schools.

Last month, the board voted to close Metz, Sims, Brooke, and Pease elementary schools.

“You're going to keep hearing from us until this gets fixed,” one of the parents said just before Monday’s board meeting. 

RELATED: Save Austin Schools coalition calls on AISD trustees to reconsider closure vote

“Our kids that night got sold out they got sold out for opportunities for other people to make money off of land and we're going to remember that,” he added. 

Parents said the district's chief equity officer admitted the closures were "21st-century racism."

An equity report was completed four days before the vote. It says the school closure process was not racially equitable, but parents said they did not get to read through it before the vote.

RELATED: Austin ISD’s decision to close four schools met with backlash from parents, advocates

Parents with Save Austin Schools said they believe closing the four schools, three of which are located in East Austin, will have a negative impact on African American and Hispanic students.

“Push out people of color, continue to reduce our African American Austinite population continue to push families of color into the arms of charters not as an option but as their only option,” said Noelita Lugo, who has two children attending Pease Elementary School. 

RELATED: AISD board votes in favor of closing four elementary schools

The board said their decision to close those specific campuses was based on the current budget and aging infrastructure.

“AISD complains about the high cost of operating older school buildings when AISD is the organization that has not maintained those buildings, has not spent bond money that's been allocated for specific family purposes,” said Steve Doc, whose grandchild is an AISD student. 

RELATED: FOX 7 Discussion: Updated Austin ISD school changes plan

Any talk about school closures was not on Monday’s agenda and the board said they do not have any additional comment.

If nothing changes, the four schools will close at the end of this school year.