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Group Meets To Talk About SF School Closings

December 1, 2012, 9:57 PM by Jenna Petrak

Group Meets To Talk About SF School Closings
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

A group of parents and neighbors are coming together to look at their options, just days after the Sioux Falls School board voted four-to-one to consolidate three dated elementary schools and build a brand new multi-million dollar building. And the fight is far from over.

Parents Matt Gage and David Andersen spear-headed a meeting on Saturday to talk about what to do now that the school board has voted. Although they aren't sure what would come when parents got together for the first time, Gage says it's still important that they all meet face to face.

"Today is about getting organized, finding synergy with people and ideas and these kind of things," Gage said.

Some here are concerned about the traffic the Mark Twain neighborhood would see when the schools are consolidated, while others are concerned about the neighborhood itself.

"If we put that many more kids in and cars into that neighborhood can the neighborhood sustain it?" Gage said.

And parents like Gage and Andersen say they'd prefer to have their children in a smaller school like Mark Twain instead of a larger consolidated one.

"I do think a small school makes a big difference. If I have a choice I'm going to put my daughter in a school like Mark Twain," Andersen said.

"I've had the experience of having kids in both big and small schools in Sioux Falls. I personally like small schools," Gage said.

And although their plans are still rough, parents say this meeting is extremely important.

"We're going to explore whether or not a petition drive to put the school closing to a public voting makes any sense," Andersen said.

Gage says that means this group will need to do its research to see what the law allows and more importantly find a group of volunteers that are willing to take this petition.

The group would need up to 15,000 signatures on the petition to put the school consolidation to a public vote.

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