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Richardson ISD parents react after proposal to close 5 schools announced

Proposal calls for closing 5 Richardson ISD schools
Proposal calls for closing 5 Richardson ISD schools 02:09

RICHARDSON – Huge changes could be coming to Richardson ISD after Thursday night.

The district announced a proposal to close five schools, saving about $11 million per year in operating costs. 

The discussion comes as the district says it's underfunded and that recent cuts aren't helping. 

"This is a problem for us to solve, a challenge we need to take on," said Superintendent Tabitha Branum. "We've been on a journey where we've already cut $14.4 million in operating costs over the past two years, and now we're at a place where we have to make more difficult decisions."

District officials also say since the pandemic enrollment has been shrinking. 

Richardson ISD Currently has more than 9,000 empty seats in its elementary schools.

The district projects that number to grow to 12,000 empty seats once current students move to middle school.

For extra context, Lewisville ISD serves nearly 50,000 students. Richardson ISD serves 37,000 students, operating two more schools.

Last night, the district proposed "Project Rightsize." It's a plan to close Dobie Pre-Kindergarten School, and consolidate four other elementary schools, including Greenwood Hills, Springridge, Spring Valley, and Thurgood Marshall. 

"We estimate when all five schools will be consolidated, it will be $11 million in annual savings," said Branum. 

The money would be poured back into schools for student programs and staff pay.

However, for parents, it's not all about the money. 

"I think they should consider the kids. They feel comfortable, like how close this community is," said parent Myra Carrizales. "Do we really have to shut down? Cause this school has been here for so many years."

For now, all of this is just a proposal. The school board will vote on March 21, but first, the district wants to hear from parents and staff in listening sessions next week.

  • For Greenwood Hills Elementary Monday, Feb. 26 from 6-7:30 pm
    Location: Pearce High School Commons Area
  • For Springridge Elementary Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 6-7:30 pm
    Location: Berkner High School Auditorium
  • For Spring Valley Elementary Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 6-7:30 pm
    Location: Richardson High School Auditorium
  • For Thurgood Marshall Elementary Monday, March 4 from 6-7:30 pm
    Location: Lake Highlands High School H Building Auditorium off White Rock Trail
  • For Dobie PreK Tuesday, March 5 from 6-7:30 pm
    Location: RISD Academy
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