Parents are mad over school closings - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents are mad over school closings

The Memphis City School Board voted six-to-four to close four elementary schools. In an effort to reduce the $14-million budget gap, the board decided to merge Dunn, Locke, Stafford, and Walker elementary schools into other schools. But board members opted to hold off closing Orleans Elementary. The fallout over the closings continues. Before the big vote, students protested in front of Stafford Elementary, and parents started a petition to keep their school open. Their efforts failed and they're not happy about it. Marytle Bates walks the sidewalk twice a day, in the morning when she takes her granddaughter to school and in the evening when school lets out. Bates says her granddaughter, who's only in the first grade, is really upset about her school closing. Marytle Bates, grandparent said, "She started crying when they first heard about it." Next school year, she and her classmates will go to Cummings Elementary. Dr. Jeff Warren, School Board member said, "I'm sorry that I'm afraid I'm going to have to vote to merge these schools." MCS board members cast the deciding votes at Monday night's meeting. Four schools will close--Locke, Stafford, Walker and Dunn schools. Marsha Williams says that's all parents at Stafford talked about when they picked their children up. Parent Marsha Williams said, "I don't like it because this school is a historical school. Just about my whole family attended, I attended and it's in the neighborhood for kids that don't have transportation to schools further out." Parents say Stafford Elementary is the heart, the pulse of their community, like several neighborhood schools. Now they wonder what the district will do with the building once it's vacated. Parent Barbara Pegues said, "So what are they going to do with it? They need to turn it into something if they gone close it. They need to do something with it." For now, parents, students and teachers are counting down until the last day. The district says it's exploring several options for the school buildings after they close. It will see if the city wants to turn them into community centers or the district may just sell the property to the highest bidder. The district says it will maintain the property until it is sold.
Powered by Frankly