Low Enrolment Figures to Shut 3 Broward Schools, Community Worried about the Impact

Low Enrolment Figures to Shut 3 Broward Schools, Community Worried about the Impact

Broward County Public Schools announced on Monday that schools would be changing in order to fix the problem of too few students in the area.

Community members, teachers, and parents worried about how possible school cuts would affect their neighborhoods spoke to school leaders at a town hall meeting.

The plan calls for closing three schools: Olsen Middle in Dania Beach, Oakridge Elementary in Hollywood, and Broward Estates Elementary in Lauderhill.

A special education teacher at Oakridge Elementary named Julie Burger-Shannon said, “We’re shocked beyond belief.” “We have a huge impact on the community and just for families to hear that they can no longer possibly go to their neighborhood school … after all this information comes out will be disappointed as well.”

Grade reorganization is being thought about for Pines Middle, Hollywood Central Elementary, and Sunland Park Academy.

It was announced that Quiet Waters Elementary, Deerfield Beach Elementary, and Tedder Elementary will be joining a public-private partnership.

There will be changes to the boundaries of a number of schools, such as Collins Elementary, Mary M. Bethune Elementary, Stirling Elementary, Hollywood Hills Elementary, Colbert Elementary, Attucks Middle, McNicol Middle, Plantation Elementary, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Montessori Academy, Thurgood Marshall Academy, Westwood Heights Elementary, Sunland Park Academy, North Side Elementary, Walker Elementary, and Virginia Shuman Young Elementary.

There was also a different plan from the district called “Total District Realignment,” which would close 42 schools. Different parts of the plan include getting rid of extra seats across the whole district, changing the borders between schools, and ending magnet programs. Howard Hepburn, who was just hired as Superintendent, did not support this idea.

About 50,000 seats in the district are empty right now. Initially, the target was to change the use of at least five schools.

Plans call for a vote on the plan in June by the board. The change won’t happen until the school year 2025–2026, nine years from now.

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