DENVER (KDVR) — Two Denver schools will remain open following a vote by the Denver Public Schools Board of Education on Thursday night. 

The board voted 6-1 against a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero to close Denver Discovery School and Math and Science Leadership Academy. The two schools have a combined enrollment of 208 students and are costing the district millions of dollars every year to stay open.

“Some folks may see we’re just avoiding the inevitable,” Board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson said. “But I believe this is an opportunity for us to go back to the drawing board.”

Anderson’s comments echoed hundreds of parents and teachers who signed up to speak at a Monday public hearing. Many felt the process was rushed and that each school’s community needed more time to figure out potential solutions. 

But Marrero said the clock is ticking on a decision. 

“It’s inevitable,” Marrero said. “We will be here.”

Marrero said despite the vote, he believes closures are still likely.

“Ultimately, the board is going to have to vote on a terminal closure of a school. But in that case, there’s less of a debate, it can’t operate,” Marrero said. “I’m not wishing this by any means. I wish we could have an influx of 200 students in all of these schools, but if I was a betting man, I’m betting that some of these schools will not be open next year.”

Marrero said the district may need to pull from emergency reserves if the process drags out. 

“The only way we can continue to fund these schools, if that’s the desire of the district, board and community, is to tap into reserves that we have,” he said. “There’s very good likelihood that I’m going to bring before the board a request to tap into those reserves.”