By Max Hrenda
The fate of a community’s school could be decided by as early as this evening.
Today, the Carter County Board of Education is expected to vote on whether or not to close Range Elementary.
On March 6, during a school board workshop, the director of schools suggested closing the school to shave upwards of $350,000 off the system’s budget. During another workshop on April 8, a report from the county finance director stated that the closing would yield as much as $462,000 in savings.
The issue of whether or not to close the school has drawn a mix of support and opposition from the community. Although there are many strong feelings surrounding the topic, Board of Education Chairman Kelly Crain said he expected today’s meeting to be civil.
“It will be orderly,” Crain said. “I don’t know if we’ll have a large crowd or not. I assume there will be several from the community attending.”
Shortly after the director of schools advised the board to close Range, members of the community staged protests and gathered petitions to prevent it. On March 25, the board invited members of the community to voice their concerns during a workshop.
Even though they were provided a forum, some citizens have not been shy about revealing their feelings to board members.