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Parents, Teachers Speaking Out About Twin Rivers School Closure Plans

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Parents and teachers are speaking out about plans to consolidate schools in Sacramento's Twin Rivers District.

It was standing room only at an emotional meeting on Tuesday night.

Deanna Rice is concerned about the neighborhood elementary school her two kids go to could be closed.

"I'm super worried, I don't know what we're going to do," Rice said.

A Twin Rivers District Committee is looking at schools with declining enrollment, trying to determine if those campuses should be shuttered, and current students moved to other schools. It's an idea that's not supported by most teachers.

"If we close schools we are going to create mega-sized schools, so that would look like a K-8 with 900 plus students," said Rebecca Ledoux, President of Twin Rivers United Educators.

READ MORE: Twin Rivers School District Will Likely Close Schools Due To Low Enrollment, Budget Deficit

Right now, the district averages about 550 students per campus. The district said total enrollment has dropped by more than 1,300 students in the last eight years and its projected to decline even more.

The district is also facing a nearly $4 million general fund deficit next year and they've already cut nearly $17 million from the budget in the last two years.

District officials say the class size will remain the same even after some students are sent to other schools. But teachers are concerned the campuses are not equipped to handle a higher volume of kids.

"Do you start lunch at 10 a.m. to get all the grade levels through when you have 900 students? Where do they go to the bathroom? There aren't bathroom facilities on these campuses for all the kids," Ledoux said.

Parents like Bryan Gardner worry their children will suffer.

"She loves this school and sees it as her second home, and I hate to see that taken away from her," Gardner said.

The committee's decision is being forwarded to the full school board next month. If approved, changes could begin taking effect next fall.

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