La Joya teacher’s union protesting district’s plan to close two elementary schools

La Joya teacher’s union protesting district’s plan to close two elementary schools
1 year 4 months 6 days ago Tuesday, February 14 2023 Feb 14, 2023 February 14, 2023 7:05 AM February 14, 2023 in News - Local

A teacher's union in La Joya is challenging the district to come up with an alternative to the closures of two elementary schools.

“This was done out of public view without feedback from those affected,” Brenda Lee Salinas — board president of the La Joya American Federation of Teachers local said.

The La Joya Independent School District announced earlier this month plans to close Leo James Leo Elementary School near Palmview and Rosendo Benavides Elementary School in Sullivan City. The district cited low enrollment numbers, and an increase in competition from charter schools, as the reason for the closures.

The Texas AFT pointed the finger at Texas lawmakers for not controlling competition among charter schools.

As enrollment dropped in the district, AFT Texas President Zeph Capo said the board should have acted faster to prevent parents from transferring their children to other schools.

“If La Joya didn't want to lose those 13% kids, then what are they doing to talk to the parents that are going to those charter schools about what they want to see in those public schools,” Capo said.

The La Joya AFT chapter plans to speak during Wednesday’s La Joya ISD school board meeting.

“Before any staffing cuts or school closures are done, we need to know if the district has taken every other measure,” Salinas said, adding that she’ll question why the district chose to shutter the schools instead of their water park and golf course.

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