School district decides the fate of 2 schools - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

School district decides the fate of 2 schools

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MADISON, IN (WAVE) - The Madison Consolidated School Board met Tuesday evening to decide the fate of Anderson Elementary and Dupont Elementary Schools.

In a 4 to 1 vote, the board decided to close both the schools at the end of this school year. The board also approved a reduction in staff.

[RELATED STORY: Madison, IN school district proposes closing 2 schools to save $1.5M]

"There is not one of us who wants to make this decision this evening," School Board Vice President Todd Bass said during the meeting.

Despite that message, the board of five had to make a decision to save to save an estimated $1.5 million.

Students and parents packed the meeting, waiving signs to save their school.

Residents repeatedly say there were no open meetings about the vote, a question WAVE 3 took to the President of the School Board.

When asked, "What do you say to parents who feel this was done behind closed doors and there was no public comment," School Board President Carl Schaum said, "We've been transparent, we've had things in the paper, we've had open meetings that we've attended at the elementary schools and here's where we are as far as financials are concerned."

The board says balancing the checkbook has been the biggest sticking point in a district with both declining enrollment and declining state funds.

"Our enrollment numbers are down. That is through nobody's fault. Jobs are not plentiful here and people aren't having as many children," Bass said.

The district says that in the past decade, there's been a decline of nearly 300 elementary students.

Dupont and Anderson were chosen for closure, leaders say, in part because those two locations didn't have room to expand in the future. 

District leaders now must decide how to integrate the students at those two elementary schools into the district's other three elementary schools before the next school year.

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