Shaw School on the chopping block? Teachers plan to fight

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Many at Thursday's meeting were not aware that a school closure was being considered. (Source: 3TV) Many at Thursday's meeting were not aware that a school closure was being considered. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

About 1,000 inner-city kids could be forced to go to different schools next year. The Phoenix Elementary School District #1 says it needs to close Shaw School and draw new boundaries for Garfield and Edison elementary schools.

There were stunned faces all around the room at Thursday's board meeting when the plans were announced. The district's governing board believes the best way to handle a nearly $1 million budget shortfall after the state's cuts to education is to close the school of about 400 at 13th and Washington streets.

The district is already struggling with a "C" rating. What's more, teachers' salaries are about $9,000 below other more successful districts in part because their class enrollment is so small.

The district says it is acting quickly to consolidate and "right size" its schools in time for next year. Teachers say they will fight to keep Shaw open.

"Consider when you close a school you are shutting a connection to the community," Pam Gavina told the board. "You are also severing ties with people."

Teachers said many of the parents had no idea the board was considering closing a school. They expect a large number of parents and students to show up at the public hearing on May 13.