(WMC-TV) – The unified Shelby County School Board has voted to move forward with closing six schools.
Although one school almost escaped the chopping block.
The meeting lasted some 5 hours. Virtually all 23 members of the board got to ask questions...some of them several times.
In the end, they did exactly what the administration wanted.
Despite an ambitious request from Rev. Kenneth Whalum, a majority of his school board colleagues decided to push ahead with a plan to close six Memphis schools.
"I have a 'Kingian' dream, a Martin Luthing 'Kingian' dream that all 23 of us would vote not to close a single school," said Whalum.
Gordon Elementary was almost spared, due in part to the pleas of parents, staff members, and 5th grade student Lance Armstrong.
"I've been at Gordon ever since I was in pre-K. There's an old saying if it ain't broke don't fix it," said Armstrong.
District officials explained the reasons behind their recommendation to close 6 schools.
The primary reason being underutilization.
Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash promised more tough decisions lie ahead for the consolidated district…far beyond a handful of schools.
"These are decisions we have to make in a community that's dropping in enrollment," said Cash.
These are the schools that are now one step closer to closure:
- Coro Lake Elementary
- White's Chapel Elementary
- Orleans Elementary
- Norris Elementary
- Gordon Elementary
The plan is to close Humes Middle, but make it an arts academy.
A number of public meetings will be held before final votes on these closures take place next March.