Parents of school up for closures propose alternatives

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The parent teacher group at Brichta Elementary School says it's not their job, but someone has to come up with a way to save the district money while saving schools.

Tonight parents at the school accomplished several things. They introduced three plans to save Brichta and other nearby schools and they put a Tucson Unified School District board member on the spot.

Parent Miguel Ortega address Board Member Michael Hicks saying, "Hands off, hands off and stop balancing the budget on the backs of families and students and start looking at the budget and making other wiser decisions, are you willing to commit to that?"

"Yes I'm willing to work with whoever," Hicks said.

Hicks has declared he will not vote in favor of closing schools, even Brichta Elementary, to close the district's $17 million budget shortfall.

"We've had this coming and this was looming and nothing's been done and I take blame at that just as much as the administration should take blame for this," he said.

Tonight Hicks heard from the Brichta Elementary aren't teacher organization who introduced three options where TUSDcan get the most savings.

Plan A—Keep Brichta and Menlo Elementary open and close Maxwell Middle School.

Plan B – Move Brichta students to the Maxwell campus and convert Maxwell into a K-8.

Plan C—Close Maxwell Middle School and have Tolson Middle School take over the campus.

"This is a community school, it offers technology, we are environmentally sound, we save energy, money," said Maryann Estrada Lujan, PTO vice president.

"I looked at the options and my only concern is that I don't see Manzo being mentioned so once Manzo finds that out they're going to say well we're not going to work with Brichta."

Not everyone agrees with plans laid out by the PTO, but many agree trust in the district is fading.

"We made a promise to Carson that we weren't going to look at it for over three years, well here we are two years and we're already looking at it again, we make promises we don't keep."

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