Families & the Community Video

Faced With the Possibility of School Closure, Parents Sprang Into Action

By Lauren Santucci — March 23, 2023 4:51
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In December of 2022, the Pflugerville Independent School District outside Austin, Texas, proposed closing six elementary schools, citing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit. The district has been struggling with absenteeism and low enrollment since the pandemic, while also dealing with inflation and rising property taxes.

When the news reached parents at Parmer Lane Elementary School, one of the schools listed for possible closure, the group was in shock. Motivated by their passion for their school and community, they organized. As the district evaluated its options, parents voiced their concerns at board meetings, wrote letters of support, and educated themselves on all that was needed to keep their school open.

They presented the board with possible solutions—including ways to increase enrollment, methods for raising funding through grants, and offers to rally at the state level to increase their funding allotment.

Ultimately, the district decided to keep all schools open for the upcoming school year. In the meantime, the school system is implementing widespread budget cuts across departments while hoping the Texas legislature will increase funding for public education in the current session.

Here, a parent talks through that experience and process, and offers advice for parents looking to stay informed and involved in their own school communities.

Lauren Santucci
Video Producer
As a video producer, Lauren Santucci produces, films, and edits meaningful, human-interest digital video and works closely with Education Week editors and reporters. Prior to joining Education Week in 2022, she produced videos for Al Jazeera, FRONTLINE PBS, and The Texas Tribune. She has a master’s degree in visual journalism from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Kaylee Domzalski, Video Producer contributed to this video.
Coverage of strategies for advancing the opportunities for students most in need, including those from low-income families and communities, is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, atwww.waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.


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