Viral Newz

Pflugerville ISD community meeting on potential school closures sees heavy opposition to district’s plans


PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Parents of students enrolled in the Pflugerville ISD gathered Tuesday night in the Pflugerville Elementary School’s cafeteria for a community meeting to discuss the district’s proposal to close several elementary schools.

“We’re not here to convince you of any plan…what we’re here to do is share our thinking, we were asked to involve the community from the beginning to the end,” said Pflugerville ISD chief of staff Brandy Baker at the start of the meeting, “We’re at the beginning. You will hear… plans, and we’re here to listen and get feedback.”

The meeting at Pflugerville Elementary was one of two community meetings on Tuesday night. The other meeting took place at Parmer Lane Elementary.

Only four of the eight proposed draft plans relating to elementary schools were discussed at the Pflugerville Elementary meeting:

Baker described the work involved with these plans as personal and emotional, and not a direction that she would have hoped for the district.

“If you were to ask me to summarize why we’re here, it’d be three words: growth, our facilities and the efficiency of district operations,” Baker said. “Over the past year, we’ve had a lot of cooling off in terms of growth in the district…we also are seeing declining enrollment across the whole entire district. Currently, we have nine campuses…when the occupancy rate is over 80%, that’s when you start thinking about do we need a new school?”

Eloise Boisjoli, one of many parents at the meeting, says that she is part of a “ragtag, ad hoc group of parents” that has been organizing around this issue since the ISD released their plans.

“We’ve been meeting since December, trying to organize all of the information, trying to contact all of our representatives, our school board trustees, that kind of people. And then we’re also trying to get all of the parents involved,” Boisjoli said, “The more people who are involved, the more we can make a decision that benefits everybody.”

Her argument against the plans is that they push the district’s enrollment problems onto historically underserved communities.

“Our over enrollment does tend to be in the northwest portion of our district, but all of our schools, all of our campuses that have the highest proportions of economically disadvantaged students, the most diverse campuses, the campuses with the greatest number of students with special needs and our campuses that have the most number of emerging bilingual speakers are all located in the southwest portion of our district,” Boisjoli said.

The Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, and Boisjoli plans to attend. She hopes more parents come and speak during that meeting’s public comments section.

“It doesn’t seem like an equitable process at all, that this idea of capacity…doesn’t take into account the different needs that our different campuses truly have,” Boisjoli said. “We know that there are problems, but we can’t make decisions that put the burden on underserved communities, underserved campuses.”

There are additional community meetings Wednesday night at Brookhollow Elementary School and Weiss High School.

“We have had a lot of participation at all of the meetings and we are happy to have so many members of our school communities coming out to be part of the process,” said Tamra Spence, the district’s chief communications officer. “Our staff members are collecting their comments, both verbal and written, and will include those when they present additional information to the board.”

Spence says that the staff will present an update to the Board of Trustees on Thursday, but the district is not expected to take action on the plans during its next meeting.

According to the district’s “2023-2024 Proposed Attendance Boundaries” document, a decision may come during the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 23.


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