HOWARD — The East Knox school board on Wednesday reluctantly, but unanimously, voted to close the elementary building in Bladensburg as a cost savings measure. Students will be moved to the Howard campus effective at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
“This has not been an easy decision,” said board member Renee McDaniel. “An operating levy has failed seven times and we just have to cut our expenses.”
Board president Warren Edstrom, who promised the Bladensburg community he would not vote to close the building unless there was an overriding financial reason, said there now is an overriding financial reason. “We’re basically bankrupt,” he explained. We don’t like having to take this action because we know the school is the center of the Bladensburg community. We don’t see that we have any choice.”
Approximately three dozen people were in attendance at the meeting, but none spoke publicly in opposition to the board’s action.
To accommodate all students at the Howard campus, the middle school will be reconfigured to house grades kindergarten through grade six, and the current high school building will serve grades seven through 12. The board authorized the superintendent to make adjustments in contract days, classroom assignments and job duties as related to the closing of the elementary building.
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