Mesa school closures possible due to budget and enrollment

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

MESA, Ariz. – Budget cuts and fewer enrolled students could mean school closures for one East Valley district.

One of the proposed schools to be shut down is Mesa Junior High. It’s the oldest school in the state's largest school district.

Mesa public school officials say it makes sense to shut it down considering it has the lowest student enrollment and needs millions of dollars in repairs.

This is part of the district plan to save $2.3 million.

The proposal, announced Tuesday night, includes closing Mesa Junior High, along with several of the Franklin schools, Franklin Junior High, northeast and south, which are now housed in portable buildings.

District officials have been looking at several factors over the last few months including student enrollment, building ages and cost to keep the campus running.

Students at Mesa Junior High would be moved to neighboring schools while those at the Franklin schools would be moved to Brimhall, one of the newer schools that is half empty.

The district says moving Franklin kids there makes sense. The changes would happen the following school year.

Two public hearings will be held next month. If you'd like to voice your concerns or learn more about the plan, the first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The governing board will officially vote on which schools to close in early November.