Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - How do you solve a $17 million district deficit? The Tucson Unified School District says the answer, for the most part, is shutting down 14 schools. During Saturday's first official public hearing surrounding the proposed school closures, outraged parents, teachers and students spoke out inside a crowded Catalina Magnet High School auditorium.
TUSD has been losing enrollment for the past seven years. It's a result, the district says, of immigration reform and economic instability.
Yolanda Miranda is a Wakefield Middle School parent. She's one of many parents urging governing board members that closing her daughter's school isn't the answer to closing in on the multimillion-dollar deficit.
"It's a neighborhood school for us. It's the only junior high around the neighborhood that a lot of us parents went to and attended and now our kids are there. We just want them to keep going to that school. It's so much closer," Miranda said.
With school closures comes staff cuts -- Leighanne Schmidt is a seventh grade language arts teacher at Carson Middle School. The longtime Tucson resident spoke to 9OYS's Cory Marshall.
"Kids are very concerned. Their parents are very concerned you know, its kind of just like the buzz constantly when I'm walking in," Schmidt said.
Schmidt along with hundreds of parents and students are hoping the buzz will change when the board makes a decision December 20th.