BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Brownsville Independent School District announced their proposed plan to consolidate schools has changed.

The school district initially presented a proposal during a budget committee meeting on March 30.

The schools considered in the consolidation were Cromack Elementary and Castañeda Elementary and Brownsville Learning Academy and Brownsville Academic Center.

Educators from some of the schools and the Association of Brownsville Educators (AOBE) expressed concerns because they were unaware of the changes until hours before the budget committee meeting.

The initial plan was set to start the following school year, 2022-2023, and town hall meetings were to start the first week of April 2022.

However, during a special called board meeting held on April 12, a new plan was presented which shows the process of potentially consolidating schools will not start until May 2023.

“It doesn’t seem rushed. We like that they are going to evaluate the entire district and that people are going to have an opportunity to provide input on how they feel about it and it would probably help them to understand it a little bit better,” said Ida Abeldaño, the organizer for the Association of Brownsville Educators.

She said the new plan is causing mixed emotions among educators.

“There is a little sense of relief but they are still very alarmed of the possibilities of what can happen,” she said.

Dr. Rene Gutierrez, the superintendent for BISD, said the plan was reconsidered after evaluating a previous consolidation.

“It went pretty fast as far as doing it. I think the lessons from that time were to have a process and have community input and take time to study the whole district before considering any campuses to be consolidated,” he said.

Abeldaño said they appreciate the opportunity for the community to join a proposed Consolidation Advisory Committee to provide feedback and will seek an opportunity to join.

She added that some educators at campuses such as Cromack and Castañeda Elementary are still concerned.

“They’re wondering, what do we do, do we start looking for any other opportunities elsewhere, maybe at another campus or just another place of employment, because we know that these campuses are high on the radar,” she said.

Dr. Gutierrez said their new plan does not specify campuses to be considered for consolidation.

“We don’t have a list of schools per se, but we know areas that we’re going to be looking at where demographically is it growing or not growing then make decisions based on data and based on the research of where the community is moving into,” said Dr. Gutierrez.

He added that there is a possibility that schools will not consolidate, but instead transition a campus into a specialized school of fine arts or science and technology.

Dr. Gutierrez said this would be to attract students interested in those fields to the school.

“We will be as informative and plan it very thoroughly and very carefully so that we make the right decisions because at the end of the day we want to do what is best for our kids too,” he said.

Abeldaño said it is important for the community to consider joining committees and getting involved.

“You have to stay involved with this because now they’ve seen the possibilities of what can happen and if you’re not vocal and not involved, you’re just going to stand by and let these things happen,” she said.