By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – More than 200 parents and students rallied Wednesday night to save 11 Sacramento schools whose fate lies in a vote less than 24 hours away.

“Save our schools! Save our schools!” they chanted.

Concerned parents and students were on the move and on a mission to send a message to school board members voting Thursday on what, parents say, could impact their kids’ lives forever.

“The schools that they’re gonna be redirecting us to are worse schools,” said father Matt Muller.

“It’s just sad that they’re not putting our kids first,” a concerned mother said.

A crowd of parents, students and teachers say the Sacramento City Unified School District is focused too much on money. Closing 11 schools due to dwindling enrollment may be the only way to save $2.5 million, according to the district superintendent.

The 11 schools facing closure are C.P. Huntington Elementary School, Fruit Ridge, James Marshall, Washington, Tahoe, Susan B. Anthony, Bret Harte, Joseph Bonnheim, Mark Hopkins, C.B. Wire, and Maple.

The possible closures don’t make sense to some of the students.

“It would be really disappointing and sad, especially for the teachers and all of our kids,” sixth grader Antonio De La Rosa said.

Moms and dads tell CBS13 as they fight they are also preparing to adjust to the move they call “unjust and unnecessary.”

“We’re either gonna send them out of district or home school them because we don’t like the options that they’re giving us,” said Muller.

Late Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, released a statement that would hardly be a crowd-pleaser for this group.

He urged the school board to close the 11 schools, saying the dramatic decline in enrollment is out of anyone’s control.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, school closures have got to go!” the crowd chanted.

Parents are urged to attend Thursday’s school board meeting.

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