School Board delays closing several schools

A round of applause from parents Monday night as school board members announced no schools would close at least for now due to a delay in the the district's five year plan.

It was an action that board member Deni Hirsh also applauded, "This is a five year plan that's taken more than a year to come to us and we're supposed to vote on it in five weeks?"

Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson's staff recommended delaying the restructuring plan for one year in order to have more community discussion. A report raised questions about the future use of buildings and the impact on communities of closing schools. There are also questions about shifting populations.

Board member Wanda Halbert repeated what she said has been a theme in several community meetings, "We not allow the dollars to be the only decision that drives the educational services of our children."

The board will take the next 12 months to discuss issues including closing up to eight schools and changing transportation routes.

Superintendent Carol Johnson urged board members to take their time but be mindful of students, parents and teachers,"Trying to make sure that we don't leave people hanging and at he last minute tell them but really give time."

A time line has been set up for board members to discuss certain matters and vote no later than December on the five year plan.