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BEDFORD, MI (Toledo News Now) -
The Bedford school district said closing an
elementary is their only option to save money.
A town hall meeting was emotional Wednesday
night as Interim Superintendent Jon White explained to parents and teachers why
and how Temperance Road Elementary was chosen to close at the end of the school
White explained that after the district went
into deficit in 2012, a 3-year deficit elimination plan was required by the
state of Michigan. As part of that plan, concessions were made, a liaison officer
was cut, and more cuts are on the way. The closure of a school in 2013 is part
of that plan.
The decision to close Temperance Road
Elementary was due to the school's small size, with no room for growth.
"You are the people making the decisions that
affect the direction this school district headed," said one distraught teacher.
"And the lives of the people who invest their time, their money, and their
talents to give our children the education they deserve. Do your homework."
Parents were unhappy with the decision, as
"We have no say, so if there is anything that
you can do, please keep that in mind," said a parent. "Give us a say, give us a
vote, give us something. Even if we get shot down, at least we feel like we got
something, instead of just, ‘Here you go, suck it up,' again."
The district faces over a million-dollar
deficit at the end of the school year, and the closure of Temperance Road would
save about $850,000. Students will be split up into the three remaining
Layoffs are not exact yet, but they are
"Folk are angry and frustrated and I
understand that," White said. "I share that anger and frustration with them.
When I say, and I have said repeatedly, ‘It's not anything that we want to do,
we are being forced to do it,' – that is true."
The school board is expected to vote on the
matter Thursday night.