Thursday night, Dallas Independent School District board trustees voted six to two in favor of closing 11 schools within the city.
Nine of the schools are elementary schools, two are middle school campuses.
10 of the schools will close in time for the 2012-2013 school year. The one remaining school will close during the 2013-2014 school year.
Students will be absorbed into other schools within the district in what DISD is calling a cost-saving consolidation plan.
The move chops 177 jobs, but board members say most teachers will follow students to new schools.
DISD says the moves with save $11.5-million- dollars. DISD also voted to extend the work day for teachers by 45 minutes, also effective next school year.
Before the vote, the board meeting started off with passionate pleas from students.
“You aren't giving us a straight answer on why you're closing down our school,” said Arlington Park student Kayla London.
“This is the best school I ever been too,” she said.
Parents concerned about sending their kids to new schools further away from home also sounded off.
"The school is absolutely too far for these kids, what if they miss the bus,” said Arlington Park Parent Lakolya London.
Halfway through the board meeting the atmosphere changed, after speakers noticed some board members were absent from their seats.
“We want them in here. We didn't come down here to waist our time,” said Dallas Resident Joyce Forman.
“Ms. Forman my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I was on the phone,” said DISD Board Trustee Mike Morath.
"Security, I would like you to escort Ms. Joyce Foreman out,” said DISD Board Trustee Lew Blackburn.
Board members moved to a separated room and continued listening to public comment and streamed the remainder of the meeting to the public through closed circuit television.
The idea of 11 schools closing moved some speakers to the verge of tears.
“Schools are primary foundations of community, as school board leaders you vowed our best for our communities,” said Bonham Elementary supporter Patricia Saldana.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun