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Dugger Residents Hope to Buy Schools

Dugger Elementary and Union High School are set to close at the end of this school year. But the residents of Dugger formed Dugger Union Community School Corporation in hopes of buying the buildings and re-open them as charter schools.
When word spread that Union High School and Dugger Elementary could clos,e the town of Dugger rallied together to save the schools. They formed a committee called Save UHS. Then, the north east school board voted 3-2 in favor of closing the schools. Save UHS became Dugger Union Community School Corporation. They've also hired Thomas Peeler from Small School Solutions, LLP to represent the group.

"Committed to keeping the schools in Dugger open and so right now we're waiting," said Peeler. "We've made a couple requests of the NESC and  Dr. Baker."

One of those requests includes buying both Dugger Elementary and Union High School for $1 from the North East School Corporation. Dugger Union Community School Corporation plans to re-open the buildings as charter schools in the next school year.

"If they close one of the schools, if they just close one, that's one thing, but they closed both schools in the town. Union High school and Dugger Elementary, those are the life blood of a community and so it's just, if we don't want the town to die and it's a passionate vibrant town, it's got a great deal of potential, the schools have to be open, they have to be available to the people," Peeler said.

Superintendent of NESC, Dr. Mark Baker, says the corporation has been working on a way to transition all of the students in district. He appointed former North Central principal, Candice Fritz, to take charge of making the changes. Those include new bus routes, maps and classes. NESC also hired a third party to assess which teachers will remain with the district. But the Dugger community hopes to move on without the help of north east school district.

"Let us run our own schools. Let us live within our means. Let us take our tax dollars and teach our students, our children the way we want to."

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