Houston Elementary to Close Due to Budget Cuts
POSTED: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 6:49pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 3:32pm
The El Paso Independent School DIstrict's board of trustees voted 5-0 to close down Houston Elementary in light of a budget shortfall. Last week voters shot down a proposed property tax hike which would have brought revenue to the district. But administrators now face a tough decision on what else they have to cut.
Administrators recommended the closing of Houston Elementary because of the low enrollment; the school has a capacity for 900 students and is barely meeting half that. At Tuesday's board meeting they said that closing down Houston would save $1.5 million and does not that the same potential enrollment growth as two other schools potentially on the chopping block: Zavala and Schuster elementary schools. They also said that there are already potential buyers for the school's property.
Other money-saving initiatives on the table include sharing nursing services at Zavala Elementary with a nearby clinic, as well as renting out classrooms at the campus. These measures could save over $90,000, according to administrators at the meeting. They added that closing all these schools would be too difficult because of the amount of staff that would need to be reassigned; however, a spokesperson on behalf of the district said those issues would be discussed at a later time.