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

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

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

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

Right now the district needs a little over $20 million to operate next school year, and closing the schools is step in getting that money. The alternative is 13 furlough days for not 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 to stop complaining and start mobilizing. She says budget cuts are happening all over the country.

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

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

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

Both Marshall and Edgewood are below these numbers.

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

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

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