Fluvanna School Board Votes to Close Cunningham, Columbia
Just a few short months after the Fluvanna County School Division struggled to make ends meet and considered not opening the brand new high school, it is again looking to bridge a substantial budget gap.
Now there's nearly a $1 million deficit and school board members voted Wednesday night to close two schools to balance the books.
Closing both schools means 300 elementary students will be moving schools next year.
The school board discussed the impact that closing both Columbia and Cunningham elementary schools will have. The decision will save them $750,000, bringing them closer to closing that $950,000 shortfall.
The school board voted 4-1 to close the schools but not before parents spoke out, asking the board to do otherwise.
"It's not the best thing for the kids, it's not the best thing for the county, it's not the best thing for the future," said Bridgette Madison, president of the Columbia Elementary Parent Teacher Association.
"If we close these two schools and raise the number of children per classroom then that which makes these two schools so very special, I am afraid, will be lost forever," said parent Gary Osteen.
This decision means that 300 students will be moving to Central Elementary School and 16 positions will be lost.
Superintendent Gena Keller says it's a long road ahead but says this was the only way to close this budget shortfall. She says she plans to meet with staff from both schools in the coming weeks.
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