Thursday, May 5, 2011

BOE Approves School Closings

The Board of Education tonight voted 7-0 to close three elementary schools at the end of this school year. The three to be closed are Quinton Heights, Lundgren and Linn. The three have the smallest enrollment of any schools in the district and rank among the highest in cost per student to operate.

The three schools were recommended to be closed after an 18 month study by a community based facilities committee. Last month, community conversation meetings were held at each of the three schools to explain in detail the reasons behind the possible closing of the schools. A number of listening tours were held last spring to explain the districts’ financial challenges due to a dramatic drop in state funding. Topeka Public Schools has already cut more than $10 million from its budget since 2009. The district is facing an additional $4.4 million cuts in the 2011-12 school year. It’s estimated that the closing of one elementary school will save $500,000.

Here is where students from the closing schools will attend class in 2011-12.

Quinton Heights - Students will be moved to Meadows, Williams, Highland Park Central or Stout

Lundgren - Students will attend State Street Elementary. Fifth grade students will attend Chase Middle School.

Linn – Students will attend Avondale East Elementary. Fifth grade students from Linn and from Avondale East will attend Ross Elementary.