PASADENA (CBSLA) — Pasadena’s school district is losing students — about 1,200 students in the past five years — forcing the board of education to tackle the issue of closing some schools in order to keep the district solvent.

At a community forum Thursday night, the Pasadena Unified School District Board discussed closing, or consolidating, some middle and high schools including Marshall Fundamental High School. But parents argued that Marshall was one of the best secondary schools in the country.

“I would probably pull (my children) out of Pasadena schools,” Frances Sambiley, a parent, said. “We stayed in Pasadena because of Marshall.”

Over the past several years, Marshall has been recognized by the Washington Post for being one of America’s most challenging high schools and by U.S. News and World Report as being a silver medalist best high school in the country.

“If PUSD is serious about trying to encourage more and more families to come into public school and not go to private schools, or even charter schools, it would be a strong stance to say that Marshall is an example of what other schools can work to achieve to become,” Jason Moss, a parent, said.

The district has already voted to close three of its elementary schools — Roosevelt, Jefferson and Franklin — due to declining enrollment and financial issues.

Another public comment session was scheduled for Tuesday at John Muir Early College Magnet Auditorium, 1905 Lincoln Ave., beginning at 6 p.m.

A vote on the series of middle school and high school closures was scheduled to take place at the Oct. 24 regular school board meeting.

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