Parents outraged over school district plans

Parents outraged over school district plans

CHICO, Calif. - There are plans in the works to convert one of Chico's oldest and smallest elementary schools into a preschool for special needs children.  It would force hundreds of students to relocate.

Parents who bring their children to Citrus Elementary School are not too fond of the idea of finding another school.

The Chico Unified School District said Tuesday no decisions have been made just yet.

If approved, 350 students enrolled at Citrus Elementary would have to find new schools to attend.

"It's like you're ripping family from a lot of these children and a lot of the staff will be spread out.  We are close-knit here," said Citrus Elementary parent Shyla Anderson. "There are just so many benefits for them to be here as opposed to be at another school where they will get cramped into large classrooms, and possibly disappear."

Voters in Chico passed Measure E last election which gave the school district a $78 million bond to fix up the 23 schools in the district; meaning the building will stay open.

"There are no plans to shut down at this point or close Citrus Elementary," said Assistant Superintendent Bob Feaster.

The current public preschool in Chico is Loma Vista with 193 students currently enrolled. They are neighbors with Marigold Elementary and Pleasant Valley High school. Chico Unified School District said it's causing major congestion on the corner of Manzanita Avenue and East Avenue.

"We also have Marigold School, which is a growing school, and we would like to make some room for the students that live in that area to be able to go to that neighborhood school," said Feaster.

"That to me sounds dangerous and it's unfair to the families. They shouldn't be put in that situation. We are a neighborhood school and we can take more children from the district," said Anderson.

If the plan passes the school board, it would take approximately two to three years for the school to be converted.

Chico Unified School District said they will spread the 14 teachers that work there to other schools.

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