Rejecting a citizens’ task force plan for closing under-enrolled schools, the Columbus (Ohio) school board has voted to ignore the group’s recommendations to close a high school and shutter four other buildings.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the vote marks the second time in two years that the board has ignored key recommendations from a task force that it appointed to study how to better use its aging buildings.
Under intense pressure from parents, students, teachers and neighborhood backers, the board instead approved minimal boundary changes for a few schools and closing some administrative sites.
But as for closing any school buildings, the board voted 5-0 to take no further action. Members said the district must focus on needed academic gains to avoid a state takeover in a year and half rather than get distracted by a contentious facilities plan.
The task force had recommended closing Linden-McKinley High School. Despite a $38 million historic renovation, Linden-McKinley is the least-popular high school in the district; more than three out of four of the 2,157 students assigned to it by address choose to go somewhere else.
Also spared from closure were: Siebert Elementary and Mifflin, Buckeye and Dominion middle schools.