POSTED: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 9:33am
UPDATED: Saturday, July 24, 2010 - 12:06am
Tommy Davis is a science teacher at Franklin High School in the El Paso Independent School District. He voiced opposition during the public forum at yesterday's district board meeting, saying district leaders got themselves into financial trouble.
"I'm not afraid to speak out," Davis said. He was the only teacher to speak out against the administration.
"They're intimidated to speak out against school district policies because they are afraid they if they speak out they will be one of the first in line to get laid off," Davis said.
"The board did have to make the toughest choice tonight to vote on closing Houston," said Berenice Zubia, a spokesperson for the district. She said the reason is low enrollment. Houston has the capacity to hold 900 students, but currently has less than half that.
"For a year there were meetings with parents, meetings with community members," Zubia said.
The district is also evaluating teacher's pay and the health insurance plan for all district staff. Those measures will be voted on at future board meetings.
"Our goal is to continue the level of education for all of our children regardless of what school they attend," Zubia said.
Still, Davis said the school district is not thinking outside the box enough on where else to cut.
"Every single option needs to be explored and exhausted before even talking about somebody losing their job," Davis said.
Zubia said students from Houston Elementary will be attending nearby schools and that there will be open houses at those schools for parents to meet the administration.