Parents want new location for Four Seasons Elementaryby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A group of St. Paul parents will meet tonight to discuss ways to save the school their children attend.
Four Seasons Elementary is the only school slated to close entirely under a plan the district released this week.
Jenifer Tizcareno has two daughters at Four Seasons. Parents are focusing on seeing the current arts-themed program moved to another building next year, she said.
They won't fight to keep the school in its current space because the district has said it wants to use the space to expand a special education program, she said.
"Special education gets federal funding, so realistically we don't think we're ever going to trump the amount of money they're going to be able to get by expanding the offering they have for special education," Tizcareno said.
The district said it is closing Four Seasons because it has had anemic enrollment and there's overcapacity at elementary schools across the entire district.
The district has said two other schools offer arts programs -- Linwood/Monroe and Mississippi Magnet -- but Tizcareno said those programs aren't as robust as Four Seasons.
St. Paul superintendent Valeria Silva said this week the district has too many elementary schools, which are not sustainable given the district's budget reality. St. Paul faces a $20 million deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
"It's very difficult to provide education in a school that has fewer than 350 students," said Silva. "If we want quality education and to ensure every kid gets the same options, we won't be able to do it if the enrollment isn't 350 or more."