GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Alba Souffle is ready to sign her boys up for Kindergarten. The only problem - the school she wants them to go to, may not be around much longer.

"I don't know what I would do," said Souffle. "I need to look for another school."

Isaac Imes Elementary School

Isaac Imes Elementary is one of several schools in the Glendale Elementary School District on the chopping block. Board members are considering a plan to close or repurpose up to 5 schools over the next three years, with Imes Elementary and Sine Elementary targeted first.

The district is currently operating under a $13.5 million deficit, forcing school officials to make drastic changes that include re-directing hundreds of kids to other campuses.

Yan Oo said that having his younger brother and sister switch schools will create potential problems for his family. "Definitely transportation," said Oo. "My dad has to work, so there's not somebody to take them to school."

Arizona's Family has learned that the district's financial problems are directly linked to a drop in enrolment at many of its 17 campuses spread across Glendale and West Phoenix. The Glendale Elementary School District's website identified several factors for the decrease in students.

  • Below average birth rates - dating back to 2008.
  • Lack of affordable housing in the area.
  • Increased competition from K-8 charter schools

Parent Eliza Limon thinks eliminating some of the district's older schools will benefit students in the future.

"It is the correct decision," said Limon. "We've been here for six years, and it's been downhill every year, worse each year, so I'm glad they're closing it down for all the kids."

The school board was scheduled to have a study session Thursday to discuss enrollment issues and the proposed closures. A public hearing has been set for February 25th.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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