Wasson High School and two Colorado Springs elementary schools will close at the end of the school year. The District 11 Board of Education voted last night to shut down the three schools for the sake of improved efficiency. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.
One board member said if it were a decision made on emotion, the outcome would have been different. Anger, acrimony, defensiveness and sorrow were on full display. Wasson parents and several teachers accused the board of not caring about the disruption to students, but board director Sandra Mann says she and her colleagues have to be financially responsible and to look at the whole district, not just one school.
"And we want to do what’s best for students and what’s best for the 80 percent of the taxpayers in District 11 who don’t have kids in this school who have to fund these schools every day."
The vote was 6-1. Board member Bob Null spoke against the school closures for about half an hour, to loud applause from the audience. After the vote, Wasson supporters streamed out of the room, a few in tears. The closure of Wasson is projected to save the district nearly $1.2 million a year. With all the emotion focused on the high school, the closure of Bates and Lincoln elementary schools was barely mentioned.