St. Paul School Board considers closing some schools due to low enrollment

The St. Paul School Board is considering changes that could mean closing some elementary schools.  

School leaders say enrollment is declining in the district, so they’re considering making some tough decisions. 

School board members are listening to the most recent update on how to make schools more equitable in resources and programs. It’s all a part of the district’s strategic plan launched last year called Envision 2020.  

"It is our plan and process to make sure that all students in state public schools have access to a well-rounded education," said Jackie Turner, COO for St. Paul Public Schools. 

Leaders say the decisions are due to declining enrollment, which they partly attribute to birth rates changing across the country.

"We are seeing a reduction in birth rates, which ultimately means a reduction in kindergarten enrollment, which also means school enrollment," Turner said. 

A decline in enrollment means resources are being spread thin in Minnesota’s second-largest school district, with not enough students to fill classrooms.

Nothing is set in stone, but school leaders are trying to figure out how to change that by working with more than 140 organizations, parents, residents, and advocacy groups. 

"It's not okay that some students and some children at certain schools get access to a large array of opportunities and activities such as art, music… and others don’t get those services at other schools," Turner said.

The earliest residents could see these changes are the 2022 and 2023 school year.