(Union County, SC)
Tempers are flaring as the Union County School Board moves one step closer to possible closing Lockhart schools.
Information presented at Monday's board meeting shows the closure would save Nearly 2 million dollars in the schools budget over the next few years.
It's a conversation many have heard before when the county closed a high school.
This new proposal would take students out of small class sizes and put them into larger classes.
Those who oppose the school closure say it's the wrong move.
News of Union County's school board vote on Monday night is making its way through town.
Michelle Conard lives in Union County, "People are going 20 to 30 minutes out of their way to choose the school let's make it a better choice let's not destroy it"
Many don't agree with the possibility of closing Lockhart Schools.
Board members at Monday's meeting declined to go on camera, and referred us to Superintendent Bill Roach who did release a statement with details of Monday's meeting.
Those same board members did say off camera, that Monday's vote was NOT an agreement to close Lockhart Schools, but to ask superintendent Roach to see if jobs were available within the school system for the 36 current employees and to put together a plan of action for the 2018-2019 school year.
The official decision to close Lockhart can not happen without public input and to date, those meetings have not happened.
Cassie Fox was a Senior at Jonesville High when it closed nearly 11 years ago and says she knows how it feels to be transferred. She preferred small classrooms then and now even for her own kids.
Cassie says, "My little boy could hardly read when he came to Lockhart when he left he was on the second grade reading level and he was only in the first. My little girl is in the six grade she didn't have to take test for three weeks I think it's a good school."
Lockhart has 147 students and research presented at Monday's meeting shows the cost per student for tax payers is double compared to other schools.
The cost comes from maintaining the building and paying staff, all while enrollment decreases.
If the school closes students will go to Monarch elementary and Foster Park elementary, to name a few. Which have bigger class sizes... And not everyone's supportive of the change.
Michelle Conard lives in Union County and says, "The smaller the school, the smaller the class the more personable a teacher can become and the more one on one attention a child can get"
A public forum is scheduled for Monday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Lockhart Schools. The public is invited.
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