Parents in Dougherty County are gearing up for public hearing Monday. Three schools in the county are in danger of closing in the near future but those parents say not so fast.
Dougherty Middle, Sylvester Road Elementary and Magnolia Elementary are all schools in Dougherty County that have seen a decline in the student population in recent years. This is forcing school board members to consider closing these schools but people who live nearby are worried the empty school buildings will lead to crime and hurt the economy in east Albany.
Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle would permanently close their doors but the board is looking to repurpose the Magnolia Elementary School building because of it's located within a neighborhood.
This means current students at each of these schools would have to relocate to other schools within the county. If the board votes to go forward with this recommendation it would save $11 million in SPLOST money and $2 million in the General Fund.
But parents, nearby residents, and school alumni say they have some tough questions for board members before they vote to move forward.
"I charge all those people who have an interest and love these two schools, Dougherty High and Dougherty Middle school like we do. I challenge you to call your local representatives. If you need to do that look on the Dougherty County school board web site to get their information and call those people and let them know your concerns and voice your opinion," says Dougherty Middle School Alumni Dena Jackson.
The school board will hold two public hearings. One will be Monday at 5 o'clock and the other Thursday at 12 o'clock at the School Board Administration Building downtown. They encourage any parents, alumni, or anyone who has any questions about the proposed closure plans to attend one of the two meetings.
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