DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools is set to shut down a number of middle and elementary schools because low enrollment numbers are slashing millions in district funding.

The list was released a few days after this story originally aired. You can find the list of 10 schools DPS is proposing to close here.

“We’re anticipating over the next four years to see another 3,000 student drop just because of the way that the community is growing and changing right now,” DPS Director of External Communications Scott Pribble said. “Three thousand students does not seem like a lot of students but when you look at a per pupil amount of money that we receive, that’s about $36 million that our budget will be short over the next three years.”

The district said less money means they can’t provide the same support to students.

“Education is obviously a part of that, but it’s also mental health and social wellbeing and things like that that we may not be able to provide to students at every single one of our schools if our funding is cut,” Pribble said. 

The plan is now to consolidate. The school board approved criteria to close schools with fewer than 215 students, as well as schools with fewer than 275 students and a projected decline in enrollment.

Charter schools will also be considered for consolidation with different criteria.

The list of schools up for consolidation should be coming out very soon. Community input meetings will follow before the school board votes on the final closures at its November meeting.

Parent Shantelle Mullinkis worries not as much for her kids, but their classmates dealing with housing and financial hardships in the Colfax community. 

“Where do they land,” Mullinkis said. “In a neighborhood that has experienced so much, so much change and displacement, this school as a community it’s such an important role to keep that in place for families that have experienced just hardship after hardship.”

“We understand that this is a difficult decision for our families to accept,” Pribble said. “We know that there’s a lot of community that’s built around different schools, and we take that into consideration. When we consolidate a school, it’s more than just bringing the students over.” 

The district said equity guardrails are part of the equation with providing access and promoting equity being two of them.