SIOUX FALLS, SD -
The closing of three schools in Sioux Falls has been a hot-button issue ever since the district first came out with the proposed consolidation plan. But, now a decision has been made that could affect where your child goes to school.
School board members approved a plan Monday night to close three central Sioux Falls schools and build a new elementary school.
Many parents showed up to the meeting to voice their concern.
It's a plan that has been in the works for some time and the Sioux Falls School District says it will save $800,000 a year by closing Longfellow, Mark Twain, and Jefferson Elementary schools. But not everyone is happy with the vote.
"It means that in a district that prides itself on educational opportunities and choices, we're eliminating opportunity and choice, we're eliminating a significant choice: the small school," Sioux Falls resident David Anderson said.
But the district says the students won't be left behind. It plans to build a new multi-million dollar elementary school where Mark Twain is located and say it won't mean less student-teacher time. However, parents still think it will have an effect on their child’s education.
"The small schools just engage you more. It’s something when your principal greets you everyday and knows my 16-year-old daughter when she comes there," one parent said.
Former Sioux Falls City Council Member Vernon Brown lives in the affected area. Neighborhood aesthetics was one of his main concerns.
"I don't want to see an abandoned building. I don't want to see an empty lot in our neighborhood. We live there and it's important you consider," Brown said.
The board passed the plan by a four to one vote. The new school is scheduled to open in 2015.
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