In just nine days, Tucson's largest school district will decide whether to close more schools than it ever has at one time.
The Tucson Unified School District has held two public hearings where parents and neighbors stood in opposition to the closures.
Thirteen elementary and middle schools are on the list, along with one high school.
The district is facing declining enrollments and an estimated $17 million budget shortfall.
Just because a school is on the list does not mean it will close, but the expectation is that the governing board will vote to shut down the majority of them.
And at least one governing board member says this will not be the end of school closures in a district that has some 13,000 empty seats.
Stegeman, TUSD Governing Board Member said, "I think next year, I think in the
long run it makes sense to close one or two high schools probably. Well, we're
closing a small one maybe, but none of the big ones. And I think that's a
discussion it would make sense to have next year. I think it might make sense
to continue having the discussion about middle schools next year. So I don't
think the issue is dead with whatever it is this year."
Board members continue to hear from parents and others ahead of their vote on the closures December 20.
After the decision is made, it must go to a federal judge to see if it complies with the federal desegregation order under which TUSD is currently operating.
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