Sheboygan parents fight school closing

CREATED Apr. 2, 2013

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SHEBOYGAN -- Sheboygan parents coming together tonight to try and save a local elementary school.

A special committee approved the shut down of Washington Elementary in March. Now it has to go before the Board of Education for a final vote. Superintendent Joe Sheehan says closing the 100-year-old school will save money on necessary renovations. But parents say the schools their students would be transferred to, Grant and Jefferson, are just too far away.

"To have a school so nice and close now and then not have it and send to a mile and a half is a pretty long way to go for a kindergartner or first grader to get to school one way or another," says grandparent of a Washington student, Marilyn Montemay. 

It wasn't too long ago the school district used taxpayer money to add onto the school. Sheehan says the staff at Washington will be relocated and that there shouldn't be any layoffs. The closure would affect about 1,000 students in seven district elementary schools, but would save the district about $1 million annually.

Supporters of  Washington Elementary have another chance to voice their opinion on the closing tomorrow night at Urban Middle School. A listening session with the Board of Education starts at 6 p.m. The information sessions offer a chance to ask board members and administrators questions on the closing as well as voice their own opinion.

The closure goes before the Board of Education for a vote on Tuesday April 9 at 6 p.m. in the North High School commons.