Closing Schools Not the Way to Improve KO Finances, Stropkaj Says
During a public meeting Wednesday morning, Keystone Oaks Superintendent William Stropkaj discussed how closing—or not closing—schools could impact the district’s finances.
One of the topics he covered was how closing—or not closing—neighborhood schools could affect the district’s financial status.
In short, Stropkaj said closing any of the schools in the district would do very little to pull the district out of looming financial difficulties. Closing a building would not make up for the increasing expenses that occur as funding from the state and federal levels dwindle, and costs within the district continue to rise, he said.
He also said he simply does not think closing buildings is the right thing to do.
“It’s not the right thing to do. Not the good thing to do,” he said. “As long as we can continue to sustain all of our buildings, on my agenda, we’re not looking to close buildings.”
The previous school board considered closing Aiken and Myrtle Elementary schools last year. That decision was overturned by the current sitting school board, which voted to keep all of the district’s elementary schools open.
Stropkaj said public meetings, such as the ones held Wednesday, are the right thing to do. He said keeping district residents informed, and keeping lines of communication open between residents and the school district are priorities.
In addition to a more detailed budget process, Stropkaj said curriculums also are being reviewed, and that he wants to work toward raising state test scores within the district.
To hear Stropkaj’s full analysis regarding neighborhood schools and finances, watch the video, above. In the video, he also discusses the size of classrooms in the elementary schools and what the buildings were built to handle.
The video is split into the following sections:
- Comments about school closings, and the importance of neighborhood schools. (.02)
- Comments about community schools, bringing students back into the district from cyber schools, and class size. (.51)
- Number of students at each school, population growth at the schools, and how buildings are organized. (3:10)
- Stropkaj’s comments about why closing a building would not save the district enough money to make up for other costs. (5:29)
For a video of Fiscal Director Eric Brandenberg’s explanation of the district’s financial status, click here.