List of EPISD schools at risk of closing down

EPISD (Courtesy: CBS4)

Friday is the last day of the school year but it might be the last day of operation for some El Paso Independent School District schools.

“Classroom sizes are going to increase and I don't think that’s going to be good for students going to other schools,” said Diana Guevara, whose child attends Burleson Elementary School.

EPISD announced Thursday that it will be closing certain schools that have an enrollment rate of 65% or lower.

“I'm close to a couple of kids and I know the families and I know a lot of them around here, so if they close it down, it’s going to be an impact to the community because people are going to have to move to other schools,” said Dave Ibave, who is an after-school volunteer.

CBS4 obtained the enrollment numbers for every school in the district and we did the math to figure out which schools were at risk.

The EPISD schools with a 65% enrollment rate or lower include 20 elementary schools, seven middle schools and two high schools.

The top five EPISD schools at risk of closing are all elementary schools:

  • Burleson
  • Zavala
  • Guillen
  • Rusk
  • Logan

Parents said EPISD is not just closing down schools but an entire generation of people in the communities that surround them.

“I wouldn't want them to lose the staff because a lot of these teachers have been here for years and years,” said Guevara.

The district has not released the names of the schools that will be closed.

Parents and teachers said they hope the district will do its research before forcing students, parents and teachers to leave their schools and communities.

EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera denied an-on camera interview with CBS4 after the board revealed yesterday it'll be closing down schools due to budget cuts.

In a statement, Cabrera said,

I am proud of dramatic increases in student transfers into EPISD over the last 4 years. Our staff and leadership are doing an amazing job of building a 'new' EPISD, and our numbers show the proof. Despite these successful efforts, we are facing challenges faced by most urban legacy districts in suburban expansion. I support and am proud of our Trustees and Teacher Associations as we discuss a path forward that will keep EPISD financially stable for years.

EPISD said it's short $7 million for next year's budget.

The district is considering closing schools with low attendance.

Board president Trent Hatch said the district will find out which schools have a 65 percent student enrollment rate or lower and then decide which schools to close.

Hatch assured CBS4 that no one will lose their job due to the possible closures.

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