SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s the last day of school for kids at seven local schools that may not reopen come next year.
“It’s kind of hard to believe,” said Jesse Shaver, who graduated from Mark Hopkins Elementary.
The school is one of seven schools to close Thursday in the Sacramento Unified School District.
“It’s really sad,” said Shaver. “It’s been a landmark in the community for a long time in this neighborhood.”
Parents and family members attending a promotion ceremony Thursday were torn up that the school district says the reason for the closures is due to low enrollment and a multi-million dollar debt facing the district.
“This is kind of like a poor community and now parents got to take their kids to a farther school, which means more gas and more money,” said Moa Laui, whose sister attends Mark Hopkins.
Earlier this week, a group filed a federal lawsuit claiming civil rights violations. They say the district targeted low income and minority students when they closed the schools.
“I was promoted from here myself in 2000, and then my dad graduated from here back in the late 60s,” said Shaver. “So it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s actually closing.”
With the closures come goodbyes.
“(My sister) was saying she got to make new friends. It’s a little bit part of life to make new friends, you got to make a new journey,” said Laui.
Washington Elementary is also one of the seven schools closing in order to save an estimated annual $1.5 million.
However, the lawsuit is giving some students and teachers hope they will be returning next school year.
“Hopefully, you know, something good will come out of it, and we’ll get a letter saying the school’s going to be open,” said parent Lenny Cervantes.
But the district isn’t planning on it.
“We’re proceeding as we were earlier this week,” said Sacramento Unified School District spokesperson Gabe Ross. “We’re proceeding based on the board action to close these seven schools.”
Ross says the school board is in the process of assigning a committee to decide what to do with the school campuses shutting down, and will continue that plan unless a judge says otherwise.
For some parents, they say they’re preparing their children for the move.
“It’s too late to be up in arms and angry about it. I mean, I was at first; but, I mean, what can you do?” said another parent. “So we just roll with the punches.”