Parents in Fluvanna County aren't giving up the fight to keep two elementary schools open. The school board voted to close Columbia and Cunningham two weeks ago. Now, a petition is pleading to the Board of Supervisors for funding to keep those schools open.
Bridgette Madison is rallying parents to reverse a Fluvanna County School Board decision to close Columbia and Cunningham elementary schools.
"It's not because we love our schools. Yes, we love our schools. But, there's more at stake here," Madison said.
Madison, also the Columbia Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president, posted a petition at change.org. It asks the board to add $750,000 to the school system's budget and keep both schools open.
"We're putting it back in the hands of the Board of Supervisors," said Madison.
Supervisor Mozell Booker supports the school board's decision to close the small schools and move all students to Central Elementary.
"We need to give them the best we can afford," said Booker.
Booker sees consolidating classes in Central Elementary as an opportunity to offer a better education and experience under one roof in a newer facility.
"Fluvanna has always closed schools and moved kids. And it was done because of growth or it was done because of improvements," said Booker.
The consolidation will put Central Elementary closer to capacity.
County supervisors are adding the cost of building a new elementary school at Pleasant Grove into their latest capital improvement plan.
"That is a really progressive move on Fluvanna's part. I think we're beginning to get things right." Said Booker.
Madison argues the closings are a knee-jerk reaction to a long-term problem for Fluvanna.
"They've made a decision so that future boards can take care of it. It's a bad decision," said Madison.
She says the school board's decision comes down to saving money at the expense of bigger class sizes and twenty jobs.
"I know a lot of people think we just need to move forward. This is not a step forward. It's a step backwards," said Madison.
Right now, it has more than 70 supporters. The parents organizing this petition plan to present it to the Board of Supervisors at a meeting in March.
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