Richmond County could shut down five schools

By: Samantha Andre Email
By: Samantha Andre Email

News 12 at 11, March 13, 2008

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga.---Shutting down five public schools could save Richmond County a lot of money. And that's just one piece of advice from a consulting company telling the Richmond County school system how to improve.

It was a full house at the Richmond County Board of Education meeting Thursday. Lots of teachers and parents wanted to hear some advice for the school board.

"I think it's a really good idea that they brought somebody in and I think it's worth the money," said parent Patricia Asmundson.

She says she's glad the board spent $167,000 for MGT of America to look at how the district can improve.

There's one idea she doesn't like, though: shutting down five schools.

"But I think all of you on the board know that that's probably what needs to be done," said Kathy Brooks, a spokesperson for MGT.

She says the company found that the district is nearly 6,000 students under capacity, meaning that many seats are left empty.

"That's huge," she says.

With declining enrollment, the company recommends the board should shut down one high school, one middle school, and three elementary schools.

"I don't know how they're going to do that. That's going to be a challenge," said Asmundson.

Challenge or not, MGT says the money saved would be worth it. They say the school system would save $11.7 million, over the next five years.

"We think that 11.7 million cost savings, if you close those schools, will go a long way to making sure every one of Richmond County students can have a better education," said Brooks.

But Asmundson says with many failing schools in the district, she's not sure if they could handle more students.

"When you close a school and you send those students to another school, you place a burden on the existing school," she said.

She hopes the board will think long and hard about it before they make up their minds.

"We want the children to succeed. We don't want to set them up for failure," she said.

The school board still has to decide on this issue, as well as all others in the 328-page audit.

Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden says some ideas could be in place by next school year; others could take years. Still others may not be implemented at all, if the board so chooses.

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  • by mary Location: richmond county on May 5, 2008 at 09:10 PM
    when is we going to know more about this
  • by tonya Location: richmond county on May 1, 2008 at 09:11 AM
    gas getting high so yeah i think it is a good idea to me because school bus want have to travel to alot of school n stuff i mean look at gas think about it 4 the school bus drivers we cant just think about our selfs
  • by china Location: augusta on Apr 30, 2008 at 08:23 AM
    to me josey know they need to get shutdown 4-real
  • by trail Location: augusta ga on Apr 27, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    to me it depends on what schools are getting shutdown
  • by larry Location: austa,ga on Apr 26, 2008 at 10:54 PM
    some kids want to switch school any way so i go 4 it
  • by taneshia Location: Augusta,GA on Apr 25, 2008 at 09:11 AM
    Why shut schools downs when they are sitting up here building new stuff for the schools like laney just got a new stadium,josey just got a new gym that just a waste of money and some kids might not feel comfortable switching schools all over again some kids might still like the school they are still attending. Am A student myself and I attend T.W.Josey and how do you think i feel about my school getting shut down am very mad at this.Who ever is trying to make this change is wrong.
  • by Latray Location: Auguts,GA on Apr 25, 2008 at 09:04 AM
    I don't think they should shut the school the schools down thats just going to cause more chaos and the schools are going to be to full and not enough room.I think the board needs to think twice about this.
  • by monica Location: richmond county on Apr 22, 2008 at 09:11 AM
    do what u got to do to save money if u thank it is right or wrong
  • by betty cook Location: jefferson county on Apr 21, 2008 at 09:15 PM
    i think that they should just shutdown the school that has the most trouble because it dont make any since how u put alot of money in the school books, stadium and student just tear it up n thatz a waste of money to me so it should b at least 1 or 2 high school that should get shut down n 4 the other teachers they might can get a job at the other schools helping but iam not on nobody side let them do what they think is right if they shutdown the school then deal with it if they dont deal with it but it depends on what school they are talking about we got to know that much
  • by shae Location: hamlet on Apr 10, 2008 at 03:24 PM
    richmond county schools are never going to succeed because you have some principals who take every word that comes out of teachers mouth lies dont matter students get punished suspended and maybe kicked out of school for basically nothing teachers words over students it really dosent matter if students try to do right they still find some way to bring you bad luck teachers have even got so where they dont try to teach students anything they just put it on the table and say do this thats not being a good roll model until richmond county change teachers and board of education and then maybe just a little bit there schools will get better almost 75 percent of 12th graders dropped out in there last year because of the discipline thats done isnt fair
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