Residents speak out against proposal to close Tubbs Elementary - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Residents speak out against LISD proposal to close Tubbs Elementary

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Several members of the community spoke out Thursday against the possible closure of Tubbs Elementary.

Lubbock ISD is considering merging several schools in the district in an effort to save money.

More than 30 people voiced their concerns with the district's proposal to close Tubbs Elementary and move students and staff to either McWhorter or Wolffarth Elementary.

"I feel like you have already made the decision and it's already done," one of the concerned residents told LISD officials at the public meeting.

The district says the proposed plans to consolidate schools could save them 5.4 million dollars by the 2012-2013 school year. Cuts in Austin could reduce LISD's budget between 10 and 20 million dollars.

Under the plan, two middle schools and five elementary schools would be affected next fall. Arnett Elementary students and staff would move to Wright Elementary. Students and faculty at Tubbs Elementary would go to either McWhorter Elementary or Wolffarth Elementary. Alderson Middle School students and staff would move to Dunbar Middle School.

Many parents were specifically concerned about how the consolidation would affect classroom size.

"When Tubbs is separated from Wolffarth to Mcwhorter, there's not going to be more kids shoved per classroom?" one parent asked.

An LISD official said that wouldn't be the case and explained why.

"Tubbs is almost full. It was built small," he explained. "Mcwhorter and Wolffarth both have [available] rooms."

Tubbs currently has 250 students, and the district says smaller schools are more expensive to run. It currently costs more than $9,000 per student at Tubbs. Early projections indicate a consolidation would nearly cut that cost in half. But parents are concerned educational opportunities could be lost in the process.

"When I spoke to her teacher she's a 3rd grader testing at a 5th grade level. I'm very proud of that. This is why I love Tubbs," Kim Rodriguez, a concerned parent, said.

Tubbs is a magnet school offering special programs and more advanced technology. The district says the consolidated schools would receive the same programs and new technology, as promised in the bond package.

Some were happy with LISD's explanation.

"From what I received, yes, it sounds like programs will still be in effect, technology will increase, and it sounds like academic effort is still there," said Mike Garcia.

If Tubbs Elementary is closed the land could be sold. Many of the people at the meeting were concerned that businesses would buy the property and move into the neighborhood.

The board isn't expected to vote on any of the proposals until their meeting at the end of April.

 

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