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North Side Parents Concerned About Closing Schools

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

The Madison Metropolitan School District identified more than a dozen options to deal with overcrowding in some schools, declining enrollment in others, but some parents say the announcement comes as a shock. One option closes three North side elementary schools and one middle school.
"This was a shock to everybody," Kari Douglas says.
The idea to close four North side schools especially shocked Douglas's 4th-grade daughter, who cannot imagine Lakeview Elementary closing its doors.
Lakeview has history for the Douglas clan of three girls.
"My middle school student cried last night …and our high school student was very concerned … they loved Lakeview school," their mother says.
Douglas says she cannot understand why a school -- already at capacity -- could possibly close.
Douglas says, "we're not saying we can't make any changes, but the one big change … so massive, just destroys four schools in one zip code."
Douglas worries about bussing and small class sizes. Another North side mom worries what a move might mean for her entire family.
"If they close school, we would seriously consider moving," Dena Peterson says.
Peterson lives across from her 2nd grade son's elementary school.
"If they close Lindbergh, they'd all have to go to Black Hawk, which would mean busses 'cause it's quite a walk, especially for elementary school students," Peterson says.
She says her husband also goes to another Madison school, as a custodian. Peterson worries just as much what school closings could mean for him.
"If they close a school, staff will have to go somewhere or get laid off."
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday. The district is facing a budget shortfall of about $8.5 million the next school year. Madison schools says it welcomes public input as the district considers these options.


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