TUSD votes to keep Carson Middle School open

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Carson Middle School has served students on Tucson's east side for 44 years and many worried its days could be numbered.  Tuesday night, those concerns were alleviated.

The problem is not poor achievement or discipline issues. Carson is a Performing Plus school battling low enrollment.  But the board voted to keep Carson Middle School open.

The TUSD governing board asked many questions before ruling on the fate of Carson Middle School.

"I heard that Carson's enrollment this year was slightly above projection, is that correct," asked TUSD Board President Mark Stegeman.

Also on the table was re-arranging school boundaries.  With both items in mind, board member Adelita Grijalva made a motion to move the Udderback annex back to Carson Middle School.

Sending students from the Udderback annex to Carson would help alleviate the low enrollment problem. Board President Mark Stegeman agreed the district needed to preserve the academic excellence accomplished at Carson.

"There's something special here and we can say well if we close Carson we'll have those same teachers who are effective going to other schools and somehow we can preserve or reconstruct it but I'm not confident based on the district's history," said Stegeman.

Then there was a vote.

"And with that I'll vote yes too," said Stegeman.

The president's vote was greeted with cheers from the crowd.

Just outside the meeting room, a Carson teacher reacted with tears of joy. She will keep her job, and her students will keep their school.

"Each and every one of those students is an exceptional individual and they deserve to have a home to go to," said teacher Hilary Garin.

There's still the larger issue of re-drawing the boundaries, but the board is looking to tackle that issue at a later date.

Meanwhile Tuesday night's ruling guarantees Carson for three years.