Galveston district considers closing campuses

January 7, 2009 8:21:54 AM PST
Galveston school officials say Hurricane Ike did more than just damage a few buildings. It has forever changed the make up of the district.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Tonight, parents of students in the district will get a chance to speak publicly about the district's plan to permanently shut several schools.

The Galveston school district was already in a bit of a tough spot before Ike even started to form. The district had already closed two schools and they were facing a $6 million shortfall. This is all due to a drastic decline in student enrollment.

As of today, there are even fewer students enrolled. About 25 percent of them did not return to Galveston when the district reopened. And there is fear even fewer students will enroll next school year.

That multi-million dollar shortfall has grown substantially. School officials say they simply don't have the money to pay for the $65 million in damages caused by the hurricane.

The extent of things are so bad that four schools which were hit by the storm have yet to reopen. The district may never open those schools again.

Officials are trying to salvage as much of the district as they can and have come up with three options. All three include closing Burnet and Scott Elementary and Central Middle School, opening a charter school program at Rosenberg Elementary School and enrolling at least 150 more students at the magnet program at Austin Middle School.

Tonight at 6:30pm, parents will have a chance to take a closer look at the options. The meeting is at Ball High School on Avenue O. District officials plan to make a final decision by the end of the month.

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