Parents Raise Concerns Over MPS Proposed Consolidation Plan

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By Jessica Gertler

Dozens of parents and other concerned residents came out to the Montgomery School Board meeting this afternoon to raise questions over a proposed plan to consolidate several central office sites.

 

Board members chose not to talk about the hot topic on Thursday's agenda. They tabled the item.

"We are going to keep looking at that to see what makes sense for our district," says Supt. Barbara Thompson.

Earlier this month, Thompson proposed a plan to consolidate five of the 14 central office campuses. An idea she got from two separate studies. 

Thompson says it will save the school system $1 million a year, and that money would be used to improve schools.

One idea she's proposing: adding a wing to Carver High School to house some Lanier High School students.

Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and Baldwin Middle School would then move into Lanier's building

"We were concerned about the merger of Lanier and Carver together," says parent Patrice Jackson. "I don't think it's what's best for students."

Parents and community members showed up to the meeting. So many in fact, the auditorium exceeded the occupancy level forcing dozens to stand in the hallways. 

"Instead of consolidating, we could be repairing and renovating some of the buildings that we have," says Karen Jones, who says she opposes the idea.

Thompson says nothing is set in stone.

"We have lots of discussions," she says. "I can't discuss something that I've not made as a formal proposal."

But school board member Melissa Snowden, who supports consolidation, says the board has brought up the idea of moving some Lanier students to Carver.

"I know there is a lot of talk about that," she says. "We have discussed that. We have brought up in work sessions."

 

Some critics say Thompson's plan will eliminate jobs, but Thompson says she's not gotten to that point.  She says this is about what's best for the students. 

 

The next meeting will be held Tuesday,  April 23 at 5 p.m. No word on if the consolidation plan will be discussed. 

 

 

 




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