Proposal to Move Kids out of West Dallas School Angers Parents

Parents at a west Dallas elementary school are scrambling for answers after learning that their kids may be moved to a new school.

The Dallas Independent School District is considering a proposal that would send students from Amelia Earhart Learning Center to nearby Martinez Elementary School.

Students at the Dallas Environmental Science Academy would move into Earhart Learning while their building and Carver Elementary School next door, are torn down.

The site would become the future home of Pinkston High School.

"We didn't know that we were even in the plans for Pinkston. We didn't know there was another school that was going to replace our students," said Chelsea Manley, a PTA member at Earhart Learning Center. "We shouldn't be uprooted."

Pamela Lear, Dallas ISD's deputy chief of school leadership, said the proposal was put forward due to the declining enrollment at Earhart Learning Center, which is projected to be about 140 students next year.

"When we decline in enrollment, we don't have the resources that are necessary to provide for our students," said Lear. "Anytime a community is moved out of their current location that they've been at many years, it's challenging."

Parents are also asking questions about transportation.

Many students live close enough to the school to walk, but Martinez Elementary is more than a mile away.

The district hopes to iron out those details as the process unfolds.

There were mixed reactions to the plan at two community meetings Tuesday night.

"It's a bad idea, but I understand there's low attendance here," says Dr. Pat Stephens, who attended the parents' meeting at Earhart Learning Center.

"To me it's a step to an end – the end being that we need to build a new high school," said Raul Reyes, who attended the same meeting. "So if it means we have to do some shifting around, because of the way DISD has it structured, that's just what we have to do."

Some parents who left a similar meeting at Martinez Elementary, which would gain students under the plan, left concerned about the increased class size.

"They were saying if the students come in, there would be approximately 22 students in each class," said Claudia Puga. "I think they're doing pretty well, the teachers, on having 16, 14 students, because if one student gets behind they have more chance of helping them and not letting more students get behind for one student."

School board members are expected to hear more about the plan Thursday night, and could vote to approve it then.

"I would anticipate the board would listen to staff on the rationale for the movement and support that," Lear said.

Contact Us