Four Schools Closing After Local ISD Vote

Greenwood Hills
Richardson ISD | Image WFAA

Richardson ISD’s school board voted unanimously to close four elementary schools and one pre-k campus next school year in an effort to cut costs.

The district is currently running at a $28 million deficit for the 2024-25 school year, with few options to increase funding, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The vote aligns with the district’s “Project RightSize” plan to support long-term student and teacher success. The plan looks at consolidation as one of several methods to encourage spending reductions in order to allow for more efficient operations, attract and retain quality educators, and focus on academic growth.

“RISD is committed to standing by our families and employees and supporting them through the changes and transitions in this plan,” reads a Project RightSize presentation.

The plan forecasts a projected annual savings of $10.5 million to taxpayers and an estimated one-time increase of $10 million as a result of the consolidations.

Schools with less than 60% capacity were targeted, Richardson ISD Superintendent Tabitha Branum said, reported KERA News.

“If we were in a perfect world or an ideal world where funding was not something that we were having to think about in this way, we may not have to have this conversation because we would want to preserve the current elementary feeders as they exist,” said Branum, according to NBC 5 DFW.

The four schools affected were Greenwood Hills, Springridge, Thurgood Marshall, and Spring Valley elementary schools, as well as the Dobie pre-K campus. The schools will be consolidated into others across the district, according to the Project RightSize plan.

The closings will result in students moving to different campuses, while other students may be reassigned due to redrawn boundaries, as outlined in the plan.

Many parents and students walked out in tears after the school board meeting, as reported by NBC 5. They told NBC 5 they felt their pleas and concerns fell on deaf ears.

The district held five listening sessions over the months of February and March after the district’s plan to close the five schools was announced, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Richardson ISD received an overall B rating from the Texas Education Agency ratings for the 2021-22 school year, with 50% of students scoring at grade level or above on the 2021-2022 STAAR exam. Nearly 93% of graduating seniors received their diploma within four years — above the statewide average of 90%

For comparison, Dallas ISD received a “C” rating from TEA, with 41% of students scoring at grade level or above on the 2021-22 STAAR exam. Nearly 20% of graduating seniors did not receive a diploma within four years.

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