Fighting to keep TUSD middle school open

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Parents, students, and teachers are fighting to keep Carson Middle School open.

Monday evening they heard several options to fix the low enrollment issues, and had a chance to voice their concerns.

Declining enrollment may be the end of Carson Middle School on Tucson's east side.

"Well, if we'd stop bussing kids all over the district we'd have all the kids we need over here," said Social Studies Teacher Scott Thompson.

Monday night, the district introduced a few alternatives, including changing boundaries and sending students from annexed areas to carson.

"Instead of closing schools to match attendance, why not concentrate on attracting our students back to TUSD," asked a parent in attendance.

Some parents and students feel carson has a bad rap. All the talk of closure, they say, is driving families away.

"Isn't it possible for people to take some students out of one middle school and tell them that they should try Carson it's performing plus, etcetera, etcetera," said

The district's data shows only half of area students choose carson.  Administrators also say budget constraints are an issue.

"It's the only middle school in this area," said parent Denise Burden.

Denise burden is the parent of a sixth grader who says carson should remain open based on educational quality alone.

"We did not know how she was going to excell due to her emotional issues and medical issues. Within the first semester she was on the honor roll," said Burden.

Parents also say they don't want to disrupt their child's learning.

"So, we hope everybody here is here for a reason, they're looking out for their children," said another parent.

Monday night's meeting was a public hearing, the board could not discuss the possible school closure they could only listen to audience comments.

On May 17, the governing board will be presented with the final recommendations for solving carson's low enrollment.

And Tucson Unified School District looking for ideas on what to do with Roberts Elementary.

The school on Columbus Boulevard and 29th Street is one of nine closed by the district last year to save money.

Over the next two weeks there will be several more similar public meetings at other schools.