KENMORE (WKBW) Too many buildings, not enough students, and less government funding is all adding up to closing schools in Ken-Ton. The school board met Monday evening, and while no final decisions were made, the board is now considering four different plans, all including closing several schools due to dropping enrollment and financial need.
"I would prefer to not to have you go through this again in another 2, 3, 4 years from now. And I think that that's something that needs to be considered as we do all this," Board of Ed President Bob Dana said to parents at the meeting.
A study shows up to 40-percent of the space in the district's buildings is not being used to its fullest extent, and the Superinendent says it's costing the district money.
But many parents at Monday night's meeting say they don't like the district's solutions, and many are ready to fight to keep their kids' schools open.
"I think they need to look very closely at the need, the true need for closing any school buildings," Michael Fiels said.
"Are they asking the right questions, are they talking with other district superintendents about how they are handling all of these things?" Joanna Ryder added.
Some non-parent residents in the audience were also worried about the effects of the vacant schools left behind.
"Somebody's going to have to pay the taxes on those schools. The government won't be giving us any money to keep them open, which means that senior citizens and everyone else in the town will be paying more in taxes," Sarah Derrick said.
Here are the options laid out at Monday night's meeting:
The first plan would close one elementary school, and one middle school.
The second would close Kenmore Middle and 2 or 3 elementary schools, and reconfigure the rest of the schools.
The third plan would change over 2 elementary schools into "specialty or themed" schools, and reconfigure both high schools and 2 current elementary schools
The fourth would consolidate the district to one high school, one middle school, and several elementary schools.
The board is still working out the consolidation plan, and eventually will ask for public input through the mail or online.