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San Angelo school board votes to consolidate schools

(Marley Malenfant/KTXS){ }{ }{p}{/p}
(Marley Malenfant/KTXS)

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Earlier this week during San Angelo’s board meeting, the board of trustees voted 6 to 1 in favor of consolidating schools. The district looked into elementary schools like Alta Loma and Austin elementary to be repurposed and move their attendance boundaries.

Molly Jonson, San Angelo ISD Communication Director, said the district felt the need for more efficiency.

“11 months ago–we started the process to look into our facilities and the kind of operational costs and infrastructure of our facilities,” she said. “As well as just looking into enrollment numbers and looking through a lens of what is best for students.”

The school district is being aggressive with their moves.

“From that plan we created the sustainability plan,” she said. “And the proposal within that plan was to merge Austin elementary with McGill Elementary and then close Austin Elementary. And merge Alta Loma elementary with Fannin Elementary and close Alta Loma. And all of that will happen in the 24-25 school year to give us some time to make some new builds and updates to McGill and Fanning without a bond measure.”

Change is tough. A school someone attended in their neighborhood or their children attending the local school–which will be obsolete— can hurt emotionally.

“So it's a hard thing for everybody to think about losing your neighborhood school,” Johnson said. “And we understand that. It’s not something that we want to do.”

Johnson reiterated that no one will lose their position for the repurposing.

“Some of the concerns we've heard from our constituents are that they're worried that by doing this we may be getting rid of some of our or laying off staff. That is not part of the plan. With this plan we're still able to keep all of our staff members, they move to the news class with the kids. So none of our class sizes will increase.”

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