Woodlawn Lawrence 63fd17a7708b2

Lawrence (Kan.) board will hold hearings on closing 2 elementary schools

Feb. 27, 2023
Elementary schools are operating below capacity, and projections show enrollment declines are likely to continue.

The Lawrence (Kan.) school board has voted to hold public hearings to consider closing Broken Arrow and Pinckney elementary schools.

The Lawrence Times reports the board also voted to repurpose Liberty Memorial Central Middle School as a magnet school, with its exact focus still to be determined.

Superintendent Anthony Lewis had recommended that the district close three elementary schools, but the board opted not to scheduled hearings on closing Woodlawn Elementary.

“Projections indicate our enrollment will drop by 300 students by 2027-2028," Lewis said in a letter to the community. "Lower enrollment means less funding. The district simply cannot afford to continue to operate this inefficiently."

The board has not made final decisions on whether to close any schools. Public hearings are the board’s next step toward closing schools.

The superintendent's recommendations also call for cutting about 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) middle and high school staff members. That would save an estimated $3.25 million.

Lewis also says he is recommending that the district transition its schedule to a four-day student week/five-day staff week. He also wants Lawrence to commit to using renewable energy.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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