San Jose

South Bay School Closure Decisions Put on Hold Amid Pandemic

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Some South Bay schools that were slated to close for good have been saved, at least for now, by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose decided to pump the brakes and put off any decisions on closures with the pandemic still ongoing.

Los Arboles Elementary School has long been rumored to be on the list of schools preparing to close. Enrollment is declining rapidly.

"There's a lot of different factors that are driving students to other places," Franklin-McKinley School District Superintendent Juan Cruz said. "They’re moving out of the area in general."

The economy and high cost of living are big reasons for people deciding to move. In the last decade, the district has lost almost half of its student body.

The plan had been to follow the lead of other districts and close some schools, with talks scheduled to begin this school year, but the pandemic may have saved some of those schools, for now.

"This process requires transparency, and having people participate in the process is important," Cruz said. "And doing that virtual just didn’t make it accessible to our community."

There will be no talk of closures for at least another year.

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