Community issues final plea to save schools from closure - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community issues final plea to save schools from closure

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Parents, teachers, andstudents stood in solidarity Wednesday night all for one cause: make their casefor why Marshall Middle School should remain open.

Wednesday night was thefinal of two hearings that were held at both Marshall and Edgewood. The twoschools were recommended for closure as a way of saving the district $9 million.

Right now the districtneeds a little over $20 million to operate next school year, and closing theschools is step in getting that money. The alternative is 13 furlough days fornot just teachers but all employees in the district.

Tiffani Stacy spoke out Wednesday,saying that while everyone doesn't want to see the school close they need tostop complaining and start mobilizing. She says budget cuts are happening allover the country.

"While you are upsetand angry go and get mad so now let's get productive, so what can we do tosupport a school board member?" said Stacy. "I'm going against the school boardand they get retaliated against, we as American citizens need to be our leader'ssafety net."

According to districtofficials, Marshall and Edgewood are being considered for closure because ofstudent population. Both Edgewood and Marshall currently have a little over 300students who attend.

For elementary schools, "primefunding" is when the school is at or above 450 students. For middle schoolsthat prime funding is 624.

Both Marshall and Edgewood are below these numbers.

Now there are otherschools who are below the enrollment like Edgewood and Marshall, but still theysay the age of facility is a factor in closing the schools.

The next step will come onMonday during a school board meeting, where the proposal to close these schoolswill be put to a vote by the school board.

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