Parents in one Phoenix school district are threatening to withdraw their children. About a dozen parents protested outside Murphy Elementary School District #21 Wednesday.
Parents said the school district has failed to address issues like class size, poor performance, the lack of a nurse at every school and high teacher turnover.
"There are a lot of substitutes, or long-term substitutes," parent Monica Loya said.
Loya is just one of a group of parents called We Are One that wants the school to fix its problems.
"Those are the reasons we are withdrawing our kids from the school; we need a better education for them,” Loya added, "I don’t what them in this district because of all this nonsense that is going on."
The Murphy Elementary School District #21, which is made up of four schools, educates about 1,800 students in south Phoenix. That is down from a high of 2,500 as parents clash with the school board and administration. School board meetings have recently had a police officer attend because things have gotten so heated.
Jose Diaz was named the district’s superintendent last year.
"We have a certified nurse in this district,” Diaz said as he explained the nurse travels as needed.
Diaz admits to high teacher turnover but said the problem is a national one, adding that he recently gave teachers at his schools a 6 percent raise.
"We don’t have enough certified teachers nationwide,” Diaz said.
Diaz said the district is on an aggressive improvement plan with the Department of Education.
For the first time in a decade, students this fall will have new programs and resources like science labs, computer lab, music, art and physical education. The district is also actively hiring for 13 new permanent teacher positions.
Diaz implores parents to give him and the district a chance to turn things around before going elsewhere
"We are going to bring back the science, K-8, music, computer lab," he said. "Not too many districts or charter schools are going to have everything we are going to offer."
The next district school board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 8, which is also the first day of school.
The four schools in the Murphy Elementary School District #21 are Alfred F. Garcia Elementary School, William R. Sullivan Elementary School, Arthur M. Hamilton Elementary School and Jack L. Kuban Elementary School.
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