Parents protest school closures in south, south central El Paso

Parents protest school closures

EL PASO, Texas - Summer vacation is here and three EPISD schools have closed as the district consolidates student bodies to have more efficient schools, but one group of parents is adamant the closures are bad for their families.

EPISD says these schools merging will save about a million dollars a year, but some parents say it’s putting their children in danger.

Some families from Burleson and Beall elementaries have been protesting the moves to Douglas and Zavala schools. These parents say it’s dangerous for kids to be in a school close to the highway and near metal recycling plants.

“This was an unjust decision done without any real input from the community, without any real information, and without analyzing the conditions that exist in barrio chamizal as well as the sherman community, said Hilda Villegas, of the Familias Unidas del Chamizal.

The district replied in a statement, writing:
"Independent reports continue to indicate that our schools in the Chamizal area are safe learning environments, despite an unfounded belief by a small segment of residents there.”

It’s been the same arguments for months, but the decision has been made.
Burleson and Beall have shut down. Parents have said they’re not opposed to the mergers, just the particular schools.

“How do you make a decision to keep the schools that are in worse conditions, that are not equipped to deal with the transition, and close the schools that are more able to do so,” Villegas said.

“Zavala and Douglass schools are in the midst of campus upgrades that will allow them to welcome the new students starting on Aug. 12. Both campuses are happy to forge combined communities that will create long-lasting centers of high-quality teaching and learning,” EPISD replied,

We have asked parents what their solution would be, and they said they would be happy if Douglas and Zavala closed instead.
EPISD said the closing neighborhoods just aren’t growing.

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