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March 11th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Kansas City board OKs plan to close half of district's schools

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/03/11/missouri.school.closings/t1main.schoolhallway.kshb.jpg caption="The Kansas City, Missouri, school board voted Wednesday to close 28 of the district's 61 schools."]

(CNN) - Superintendent John Covington called for the closing or consolidation of almost half of the schools in the Kansas City, Missouri, school district, and a school board voted Wednesday to approve the downsizing.

Covington calls it the "right-size" plan," but many residents say it's plain wrong.

A packed room of people watched the board make its historic move after weeks of debate and years of declining enrollment. Some parents voiced their anger, while some students cried.

"I have an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old that will be going to school with 12th graders. I find that very inappropriate. I don't feel my children will be safe," Deneicia Williams told CNN affiliate KSHB-TV.

"I feel like I have nothing, I have no high school legacy. I feel like I have nothing, nothing to go back to," said Prince Jones, a senior, who will be part of the final graduating class at Westport High School.

Covington proposed the "Right-Size" plan arguing that the financial future of the entire school district was at stake. The plan shutters 28 of Kansas City's 61 public schools, cuts 700 jobs and saves $50 million to help reduce a burgeoning deficit. FULL STORY


Filed under: Education cuts • U.S.
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. ronvandm

    Is there anything in this country that works right? This once great nation has become corrupt, pathetic & self centered. WE can send millions/billions to help other nations, that give hardly anything or nothing back & cannot stop because it is in our "national interests".
    If WE cannot find a solution to these problems, AT HOME, then we do not need to worry about our "national interests" as our "friends & enemies" will OWN us! It is time to wake up and tell the rest of the world that we cannot help them until we clean up our own mess!

    March 12, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  2. Dave Paulson

    To John,
    I hear what you're saying and I can understand why you're angry, but parents aren't "the problem." They are merely another symptom of the real problem, which is that the American system is broken. Education needs serious reform, actual restructuring from the ground up. Our electoral system needs the same. But at the heart of the matter, you'll find the real culprit to be a culture of consumption and greed. Many children suffer from lack of parental guidance, not because their mothers are bilking the welfare system, but because they work so hard their not available. You and I, and most of those broken homes are all caught up in the same thing: trying to make ends meet in 21st Century America. The rich of our Country have broken the back of the people - that's why schools are closing. Those who have gained the most continue to take and not pay their fair share. The rest of us have been squeezed to where we have nothing left to give. Please do something constructive and point that just anger of yours where it belongs - on those who run our Country - that richest 1% who control 90% of American wealth - them and their minions - the U.S. Congress.

    Respectfully,
    Dave

    March 11, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  3. Claude Nickerson

    See, these buildings were baby boomer era buildings and unfortunately unborn children aborted or killed were our social security pension makers. Oh well... I know Kansas City is till stinging from that abortion doctor murder trial. So I walk on egg shells too.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  4. Claude Nickerson

    Mike,

    I am sorry I was insensitive to your alma mater. I was trying to give ideas to get money to tax payer. The hospital I was born in is torn down. My mothre's hospital she was born in is still standing! LOL!

    March 11, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  5. Claude Nickerson

    Tax payers who paid fro those closed schools should have access to the building material for things like scrap metal, bricks, windows, hot wter heaters, blackboards for their businesses, tables, chairs, cots, cafeteria material. now a liability clause to protect the school in case any get hurt on these closed school properties while salvaging. This is recycling! Go green!

    March 11, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  6. Mike

    A tragedy for one of America's great midwestern city centers, at least for now. Mayor Funkhouser seems like he has is arms wrapped around it. It all comes down to money. Citizens, American businesses, and investors who care about keeping or making cities nice places to live should continue to band together and bring some of that stimulus money, commerce, and care to places like Kansas City that are losing schools in central urban communities. Funkhouser aptly referred to the schools as community 'anchors'. Think about if your alma mater was reduced to rubble. Beyond the loss to midwestern architectural culture and history, What happens to the neighborhoods around the schools?

    Does anyone know whether there are plans to open up any magnet schools for the displaced children?

    March 11, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  7. Mike McKeown

    CNN reported nearly 1/2 of KC's schools closing. Not so, one or two districts are closing.
    Was that intentional to make a more interesting headline?

    March 11, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  8. John

    Blah Blah Blah. Americans have compassion for everyone, including illegals. Is Carlos illegal.? I do not know or care. What the real problem here is that parents need to take responsibility for thier actions. It is easy to have a kid, but it is what you do afterwards that matters. Where is it written that if someone has a child that they cannot afford that I need to take care of this child. I have one child because that is what I can afford. I have never asked anyone for anything I work everyday, and believe me I have had jobs you cannot even believe. Parents are to blame they need to show some integrity and to stop thinking that if I have more children the gov't will take care of everything. It builds poverty, it enhances the welfare role and it breeds future generations that expect to be taken care of. We do not have the money, and we all know California does not have the money. Maybe they can print there own.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:20 am |