Metz Elementary parent creates petition to save school from closing

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Metz Elementary parent created a petition Monday to try and save the Austin ISD school from closing.

Metz is one of 12 schools that district staff said could close under a new proposal announced last week.

For Wendy Gonzalez, having her daughter Katie go to second grade at Metz, a school where 96.5% of families are low-income, is more than just a convenience.

“I get off at 3 p.m., so they give me time, because I’m across the street,” said Gonzales.

School gets out three minutes before she gets off her job at Mexican restaurant Juan in a Million.

“If she goes to another school, it’s a big inconvenience because they’re not going to be waiting for you to come get your kid,” she said.

Under the proposal, if Metz does close, students would instead go to a modernized Sanchez Elementary nearby.

In response, Metz alumnus Bertha Rendon Delgado launched the petition, which calls Metz the “heart of the East Side.”

“We’re not going to go down without a fight, at all, and we’re going to take it all the way,” Delgado said.

As of Friday, more than 800 people offered the district feedback on the proposed changes through its “thought portal” online.

District leaders will then weigh the online results, along with feedback from roughly 20 in-person meetings with parents and community members, before making a final decision on the closures in November.

Those in-person meetings are still being scheduled.

“So that they have the information that they need to make the decisions that they’re going to need to make in the coming months,” said Reyne Telles, AISD’s Communications and Engagement Executive Director.

At Monday’s work session the school board heard district staff present on the proposed changes.

While the public was not allowed to comment, many parents came to learn more about the plan.

In addition to members of the Metz community, about a dozen parents from Pease Elementary came wearing matching purple t-shirts, a show of unity as the district ponders whether to close their school as well.

Gonzalez hopes the board listens to all the parents’ pleas.

“We still need the school here for our kids, for us,” Gonzalez said.

See more on this tonight on KXAN News at 10 p.m.

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