VIDEO: Several San Jose elementary schools in Oak Grove School District could close down

 

SAN JOSE (KRON) — Parents and students in the Oak Grove School District are facing the very real possibility that several elementary schools could close down.

The district is facing a budget deficit of millions of dollars and may have no choice but to consolidate multiple schools.

There is a very lengthy process underway to identify which schools will need to be consolidated and that has left many parents and students in limbo.

On Monday evening, the Oak Grove School District Consolidation Committee met to identify three-to-five elementary schools in the district that could be closed down.

Nearby, parents and students rooted for the survival of their particular schools.

“It’s really heartbreaking that they are looking at our school to close,” said Eva Marcoida, who has a child at Miner Elementary.

She says closing it down would be a devastating blow to parents.

“Our parents don’t necessarily have the means to have a car to take their kids to a school that’s half a mile away,” Marcoida said. “It’s heartbreaking, so we are here to voice for them.”

Kristine Lopper has a child at Indigo.

She says waiting to find out the fate of her child’s school has been frustrating.

“It’s really hard to not have the transparency of where we are headed,” Lopper said.

The district, which serves many low-income families, is dealing with a budget crunch. Enrollment is dropping and the district is facing a budget deficit in the millions of dollars.

In an effort to balance the books, the district has already approved a plan to lay off staff, offer early retirement to others, reduce services and make a 5 percent across the board cut.

But that won’t be enough, so the district is now looking at consolidating at least three schools.

All of the parents KRON4 spoke to on Monday evening acknowledge that there are no good options here.

No one wants to close down a school and waiting for a final decision from the district is taking an emotional toll.

“Your school is like your second family,” Lopper said. “That’s where you send your kids for 8 hours a day. You’re entrusting them. So, you grow to love your school just like you love your family.”

Now, there will be several more meetings like the one held Monday night as the committee continues to hash out exactly which schools will be consolidated.

The district hopes to make a final decision before the end of the year.

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