About 270 people turned out at Tuesday night's West Covina school board meeting to air their views on proposals to close as many as five district schools to cut costs. The speakers, mostly parents of students at schools that might be closed, were almost evenly split on the issue.
Debra DeLazzaro, who has one child at Merced Elementary and one at Hollencrest Intermediate, presented an anti-closure petition signed by more than 360 people.
Some speakers supported the district's position but found merit in critics' concerns.
Others doubted the district's contention that consolidated schools would improve education. "What we are talking about is good education," said Anthony Keyser, a professor at USC Medical School.
"I've seen our children's educational quality go down every year," countered Edgewood High School teacher Ron Spence. He urged people to accept the closures "and quit piddling around."
The school board has until Feb. 9 to decide what schools, if any, will be closed.