Possible School Closing in Jackson

By: Dan Ponce
By: Dan Ponce

Wilson Elementary School currently has just over 200 students but come fall, they could be going to school elsewhere.

"It would be challenging to find an appropriate place for all of them," said Jackson Schools superintendent Dan Evans.

Evans said the district and the school board are considering closing the school.

"We would probably have to spread [the students] throughout the district, but because the school is centrally located, it wouldn't be hard."

A $3 million budget deficit is partly to blame. Evans said the district is also facing declining enrollment numbers that come with competition from local charter schools.

"In our competitive environment, we want them to attend our schools," he said.

With rising costs and declining enrollment, school board members said that both short and long term solutions are necessary...solutions that could help Wilson remain open.

"In the short term we have no choice but to decrease our costs of doing business, so that means cuts," said school board member David Halsey.

Those cuts include the possible layoffs of 14-19 teachers, two administrators and two secretaries.

Halsey said the district is planning on introducing new initiatives to attract more students, including new magnet schools, expanding their advanced placement programs, and introducing new health-based curriculums.

"The only way we can increase revenue, is to increase enrollment," Halsy said.

The superintendent stressed that the consideration to close the school is in its preliminary stages, and a vote will not be happening in the near future.


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