Parents, teachers and students in one South Bay school district made impassioned pleas on Monday night why their school should not be closed. The closures are part of planed consolidations in the Oak Grove School District.
With weeks to go before a decision, the political pressure to persuade is ratcheted to maximum. Hundreds of people gathered inside the Herman Intermediate Gym in the hopes of avoiding school closures, which the district says need to be made because of declining enrollment and a budget deficit.
"It would just be a loss to the whole community," said Del Roble Elementary School parent Stacey Berkholder.
An Oak Grove School District-appointed consolidation board has a list of eight schools, and is eyeing between three and five for possible closure next school year. Anderson, Del Roble, and Miner elementary schools are all in the cross hairs, and supporter are making cases each should be saved.
"We have a lot of funding coming into our school, that the district would loose, if they close our school," said Berkholder. Danielle Appler, a parent from Anderson Elementary School said, "It's the community feeling that we have there. we all bind together. We're all connected."
Minor Elementary School teacher Julie Federman said, "The difference is our parents are mostly from lower socio-economic status. and they may or may not speak English. so we're here for them."
Officials say the district has seen enrollment plummet by over 1,000 students the past few years. The cause -- the high price of housing is forcing many families to pack up and leave.
"Everybody wants an opportunity to having housing they an afford. And a lifestyle that they want to take care of their needs," said Oak Gove School District Superintendent Jose Manzo.