VSCS five year plan would consolidate three county schools

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TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – After hearing the Vigo County School Corporation’s five-year strategic plan Monday, Jessica Kirkman said she began to worry.

Kirkman is a mom of one, and said the thought of her daughter’s elementary school possibly closing would jeopardize her entire routine, and disrupt her daughter’s life.

“Any mom, including working moms, have a routine. It’s how we function,” Kirkman said.

She said she understands that budget cuts need to be made by the schools, but asks if consolidation is necessary.

Kirkman said she drops her daughter off at school every morning on her way to work because it is only a couple of minutes from their home. She said that could change if her kid has to change schools.

Bill Riley, with the School Corporation said Monday was just a reading of the plan, and the proposed consolidation of elementary schools would have to be approved before anything moved forward.

He added, there are three phases to the plan. The first, of which, would implement a task force to look into which schools would even be considered for consolidation.

Riley said phase two would reduce the 18 elementary schools within the county to 16.

Then lastly, “phase three calls for an additional consolidation from 16 to 15 elementary schools and really brings us more in line with school corporations our size.”

Riley said even if the proposal is approved later this month, the first phase would take time.

“The soonest it would happen is that academic year after that, so we’re talking ‘21 ‘22.”

Riley said the school corporation has to do something to reduce their spending. He said with fewer students in the county it makes sense that fewer schools would be needed.

The State of Indiana bases their funding distribution on the amount of students within each school. Riley said consolidation, because of this fact, would save the corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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