Q:

What are some factors that influence area school closings?

A:

Quick Answer

Loss of student enrollment, outdated facilities and poor student performance are a few of the reasons why schools close. Whatever the reason, closing a school is often a difficult decision for district officials to make and causes strong emotions on all sides of the issue among community members.

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Full Answer

Declining enrollments and shifting demographics in some urban and rural districts have led to the districts closing schools and consolidating students into another facility. This action can help a district save money by operating fewer buildings. Officials might also decide to close a school that has not been modernized and would cost too much to renovate. Some older buildings also don't accommodate the type of hands-on, technology-rich instruction of today's classrooms.

In recent years, state and federal academic accountability programs have also led to schools being closed because they did not meet specific achievement targets. These actions often don't occur until several interim steps to help the school improve have been taken. These steps might include replacing the teaching staff or turning management of the school over to an outside agency. A school that has been closed because of poor performance might also become a charter school.

Schools are part of the fabric of a community. Whatever reason officials decide to close a school, there are likely to be those who oppose the action and those who support it.

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