MPS votes to close eight schools - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

MPS votes to close eight schools

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Public School board sealed the deal on a plan that has prompted debate between school board members, teachers and parents for months.

"I think it was a giant step for the school district," says Superintendent Barbara Thompson.

Thompson praised the board's decision to close eight schools and rezone the entire system. It's part of the bigger plan to offset an anticipated $9-million loss in state funds.

"I think the board took a positive stand and they were committed in making sure we move forward for the kids in the school district, so I think that was important," adds Thompson.

The vote was 6-1. District six member Robert Porterfield cast the only negative vote.

"Certainly some of the schools could have been closed, but certainly all the schools that were mentioned there, there was no need to close them," he says.

The plan closes eight schools--Hayneville Road Elementary, MacMillian Elementary Magnet, McIntyre Middle and Daisy Lawrence in West Montgomery.

To the north, Head Elementary and Houston Hill Middle will close. And Harrison and McKee Elementary schools will close in South Montgomery.

Karen Jones is outraged her nieces and nephews will be forced out of their schools.

"It is a very sad day in Montgomery, but the battle has just begun and we are ready to continue this fight because it's not over," says Jones.

While sympathizing with frustrated parents and others, board president Charlotte Meadows says it's time to move forward.

"The superintendent will start meeting with the teachers and principals next week at the affected schools," says Meadows.

Meadows says the timeline to implement the plan is very tight. In the coming weeks, affected students will receive letters telling them where they'll attend classes next year.

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