- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

CRESCENT, Iowa (AP) - Parents are pushing a western Iowa school board to keep their elementary school open despite years of falling enrollment.

The proposed closing of Crescent Elementary School attracted a packed crowd to the local school board meeting on Tuesday, The Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/2lKSdcJ ) reported.

Community members asked the school board to delay making a decision, which is anticipated at the board’s meeting on Feb. 28. About 35 people are hoping to work the Council Bluffs Community School District on possible ways to save the school.

Superintendent Martha Bruckner said past efforts to boost the school’s enrollment have failed. She asked school board members to consider what they’ll do next year and the year after if the school remains open and enrollment drops further.

“I’m not sure the community has supported it as much as you would believe based on the comments tonight,” Bruckner said.

Bruckner said the district could save $180,000 annually by closing the school.

Board member Chris LaFerla said it doesn’t all come down to money, but he acknowledged funding is the impetus for bringing forward the proposal.

“We would not be asked to make this decision if it weren’t for several years in a row of insufficient, inadequate state funding,” he said.

Board President Troy Arthur told the crowd that decisions about closing a school are never easy and the district strives to be supportive of its communities.

“We really do want to make a decision that is best for all of our kids,” Arthur said. “I appreciate you all giving up your Valentine’s night, but apparently it was over something you love, so it was appropriate.”


Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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