School board: Roseburg elementary school not closing, for now

School board: Roseburg elementary school not closing, for now

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg School Board has decided it will not close any elementary schools to cut costs in the district.

The board met Tuesday night to discuss the expected $4 million in cuts the district will have to make because of the falling revenues from the state.

School board chairman Joe Garcia says there are a lot of options on the table, but the fact is they are going to have to start cutting  programs to reach that goal. "That really we've done our best up to this point in reducing and minimizing impact to kids the best we can. If we move forward with reducing an additional $4 million, there is no way we will be able to not have direct impacts on students, either through staff cuts or program cuts," said Garcia.

He said the consensus is that no elementary schools in the district will be closed, at least for now.

"The consensus last night at the work session, the board is not prepared to take that task on at this time. I f we continue to have budget issues the following next two and three years after that, with declining enrollment, those are the kind of conversations that we'd like to engage with the community to determine whether or not we can sustain nine elementary schools for example, or whether there's a better way to deliver the service to the kids in the district."

Garcia says one option they are considering is a local option levy, and he says the board is in the process of determining what that would like. He says they feel that in any of those decisions, the community needs to be heavily involved.

The district has lost about 500 students in the last five years, and that means more than $3 million in state funding, besides the other cuts from the state.