El Paso-Area Schools to Close for Pope's Visit to Juarez

El Paso-area school districts will cancel classes Feb. 17 for Pope Francis' visit to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city directly across the U.S. border.

The Ysleta, Socorro and El Paso school districts cited finances, safety concerns, staffing challenges and transportation issues as reasons for closing.

A portion of Cesar Chavez Border Highway will be closed during the papal Mass, and district officials say the city's bus and policing resources will be strained.

Officials on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border have advice for anyone planning to go to Juarez for Pope Francis’ visit on Feb. 17.

They also expect many students and teachers to attend the events.

The El Paso school district will instead hold classes on President's Day, which falls on Feb. 15.

Socorro students won't have to make up the missed day. Ysleta district officials haven't said how they'll make up for the closure.

Catholic schools in El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso will also be closed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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