Thursday, April 17, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Jenkins-White Elementary charter choir kicked off the meeting singing "Ain't That Good News," but not many were left singing praises after the Board of Education meeting was over.
Thursday night the board voted to approve all the rightsizing recommendations, and now they're final.
That means Collins Elementary will close after this school year.
Josey High School will consolidate with Murphey Middle, with the 8th graders coming over in 2015 and the 6th and 7th graders joining two years later.
Butler High and Sego Middle will merge in 2019.
National Hills and Garrett Elementary will become one in May 2015.
"I'm glad it's finally over. I knew it wasn't exactly what everybody wanted, but I think it was a good compromise," Board Member Barbara Pulliam said.
This decision comes after four townhall meetings, 2 more public meetings, and lots of public outcry. Pulliam was the only board member to oppose the vote to close Collins.
"For Collins that had been in that community as long as it has, carrying the name of that educator, Ursula Collins, I didn't want to see that school close," Pulliam said.
She also paused before approving the Josey-Murphey merger.
"Before I voted on it, I wanted to make clear the kids would be going into a separate building. That made a difference with me," Pulliam said.
It's what sold a lot of parents as well.
"Having the separate building. The separate building is what seals the deal," parent Monique Braswell said.
According to the plan, 8th graders will move to the Josey campus in the fall of 2015. Sixth and 7th grade students will join them two years later.
But, Collins students only have a few more months before they say goodbye.
However, good news did come from the meeting before. In the budget meeting, the Board announced there will only be four furlough days next year. That's down from 9 this year, and that equates to millions.
All proposed rightsizing votes were approved Thursday night in a final meeting.
Some schools will close and the students will be transferred to different schools.