The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board has approved closure of 11 district schools as a first step toward solving a $17 million budget deficit projected for the 2013-2014 school year.
The board also approved recommendations (noted below) on receiving schools that will consolidate with the closing schools and accept transferring students.
The schools that will be closed are:
Schools approved for closure will continue to operate as usual through the end of this school year, which concludes on May 23, 2013. Academic instruction will not be interrupted and schools will continue to be welcoming and supportive of their students and families.
Additionally, consolidation recommendations are not final until the completion of a public process of setting school boundaries and those boundary decisions and desegregation requirements get approval from the federal court. The school boundary process will include the development of parent and staff regional boundary committees and public meetings. The process will get underway the week of Jan. 7.
Families whose school has been approved for closure may participate in the open enrollment process through Jan. 31. More information is available on the "Options for familes" page.
The governing board also approved preparing Manzo Elementary School for a conversion to a TUSD charter school. Sewell and Cragin elementary schools were also under consideration for closure, but will remain open.
The approved closures will cut $4.2 million from next year's budget and provide $4.5 million in annual savings. The district will now work to identify remaining cuts and will review many options including reductions in central administration, general administration, outsourcing of essential functions, reducing benefit costs, and modifying staffing standards.
The district will work to finalize budget decisions by the end of February to facilitate staff transitions and other changes.