PUEBLO, Colo. - Tears were shed as people learned which schools could be close their doors for good to students and staff by the end of the school year.
On Thursday, Pueblo City School held a meeting to talk about which schools could be shut down. No final decisions were made. They plan on holding more meetings to hear from the public.
Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso gave her recommendations on which ones should close, "At this time I would ask that the board would recommend the board of education consider closure of the following schools at the end of the school year. Heroes elementary, Heroes Middle School, Minnequa Elementary."
The reasons for the shutdowns are due to lack of state funding which has been cut $150 million, much-needed school repairs, teacher shortages and more.
Barb Clementi the Board of Education President says this is something they don't want to have to do. "We are at the point where this is an unfortunate necessity," Clementi says.
Suzzane Etheridge the President of the city's Teacher's union was saddened by the proposal. Minnequa Elementary is where she started her teaching career. "I hate to see any school in our district closed," Etheridge says, "I'm a Pueblo native too, and we are highly attached to our school buildings."
Even with those proposed closures, it still isn't enough to get the district back on track. More schools will have to be closed as well. The board and stakeholders discussed a few other possibilities.
Below are screenshots of the proposals:
It's important to note that all those proposals can only work if voters approve a bond that would be on the November ballot granting the district much-needed funds. They say if the bond is not approved, they don't have money in the budget to make the infrastructure repairs.
It would also allow the D60 to build new schools. Meaning if the bond is approved, it still won't save schools from being shut down.
Every single proposal brought forward, three other schools will closed; Roncolli STEM Academy, Centennial High School, and Pueblo East High School.
Jackie Helzer's son attends Pueblo East and her daughter was planning in following in his footsteps. She says learning the school might close its doors is heartbreaking. "My daughter cannot imagine what she is going to do because since sixth grade she has known that's where she wants to go, she wants to follow her other brother."
More discussions on the possible closures will take place in April.