MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — The McAllen Independent School District (McAllen ISD) is considering closing Bonham Elementary School due to low student enrollment.
Since 2010, McAllen ISD has closed down three schools: David Crockett Elementary in 2011, Jose Antonio Navarro Elementary, after the 2017-18 school year, and Abraham Lincoln Middle School the same year.
Bonham elementary would be the fourth.
Parent’s have raised their concerns about that number.
“This is supposed to be the district of champions, and it’s the district of closing schools,” said Jessica Avalos, a parent volunteer at Bonham Elementary school. She also has a son that attends the school.
“Not only is the school-age population decreasing, McAllen ISD’s enrollment of school-age children is decreasing,” said Lisa Cavazos, the McAllen ISD Director of Student Outreach.
In the McAllen ISD board meeting on May 24, which you can watch here, the school district said closing down Bonham could save the district nearly $700,000.
In the meeting, the lack of student enrollment at that particular elementary school was the reason the school district was thinking of closing the school.
“Bonham is a small school environment, so at capacity –full capacity– that school would be at 388 students. ‘20-’21 school year we were sitting at 167 as of snapshot,” said Cavazos.
Avalos told KVEO that so far nothing concrete has been communicated to parents or staff at the school.
“Why are they waiting for this at the last minute? They have not taken into consideration the emotional stress for the staff and the children,” she said.
With the school year ending on May 28, Avalos said she still has questions that the school district has yet to answer.
“Are the children going to be moved to schools they want assigned, or are we going to choose?” she asked.
Avalos said she was concerned about the stress on the children.
“They don’t know what’s happening with the school either. My child is very stressed out right now, we need answers.”
In the May 24 meeting, McAllen ISD said that returning students would be transferred to Houston elementary if Bonham is closed.
The district also said that 29 of 31 employees at Bonham would be reassigned if the school is closed.