The Galveston City Council and the school board will have a joint meeting Thursday to talk about a mutual problem.
It’s no secret that the Galveston Independent School District is considering closing a school in an effort to cut operating costs.
It’s also no secret why that move is necessary: declining enrollment.
Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas asked for the meeting suggesting that the city could be able to help in reversing that trend.
You can see the logic. Why is enrollment dropping? Does it have anything to do with the availability of job opportunities on the island? Or the availability of affordable housing?
Some time ago Thomas challenged the Galveston Chamber of Commerce to think about the migration of residents from the island.
In response committees were formed to look at job training and housing. Thursday’s meeting is an opportunity to look at those efforts.
There are also good questions about what happens to a school after it’s closed. The city does have an interest in its neighborhoods and no one wants to see a boarded-up school.
What would happen to the surplus property? Could it be redeveloped as affordable housing?
There is plenty of room for a productive discussion Thursday.
It’s also a chance for the school district to again point out that it has compelling reasons for closing another campus.
The district has 834 seats available in its elementary schools and another 934 seats available in its middle schools.
The district already has room for roughly 1800 more students. It’s likely to lose more students next year when a new charter school which has room for 300 students opens.
Obviously it costs money to operate a campus — even a campus that’s not needed. The school district is never going to be as good as it could be if it continues to spend large sums of money on things it doesn’t need.
WHAT: Joint meeting of Galveston’s city council and school board.
WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday.
WHERE: City Hall 823 Rosenberg Ave. Galveston.