MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. - Within the last five years Morehouse Parish has closed two schools and they may be closing yet another two, Pine Grove and HV Adam. This is all to prevent the school system from going broke from a $1.6 million shortfall.
Thursday night's school board meeting was just to introduce a plan, Morehouse Parish Superintendent Dr. David Gray says there’s no other option.
"The very very last thing I wanted to do is close schools over midterm...Unfortunately that's the plan that is going to be presented tonight," he said.
However, school board members and residents say there has to be another way.
"How much money did we save by closing schools two years ago? Now you're projecting having to close two more schools, what's th savings going to be?" said school board member Louis Melton.
"This is unprecedented, for years they continue to close these schools trying to save money , that's not the way to do it," said resident Rickey Anderson.
Although there were many in opposition, there are some school board members support the superintendent.
"What my motivation is and what I hope every board member's motivation is tonight..we got to make sure that everybody that we still have gets a paycheck in February," said Rick Hixon.
Morehouse Parish schools are facing a $1.6 million shortfall and if cuts aren’t made school officials indicated that the school system will not be able to afford to educate any child in the parish by February.
Several believe cutting back in areas like transportation, curriculum and central office could save the schools.
"There are several other positions that I feel, definitely in that curriculum department I an agree that some of the salaries in there are exceedingly high," said Chasity Kennedy.
Rickey Anderson says enough is enough.
This is a slap in the children's face. We're in dire need of help I'm going to ask Mr. John White to bring this board before them and ask them questions, why can't they get it together here," he said.
Dr. Gray asserted that this is not what he wanted to do "Believe me I understand this is over the holiday season, just like Ms.Downs said nobody looks forward to this, nobody's enjoying it."
Dr. Gray confirmed that if they don’t come to a decision soon they will have to go before the state school board and they will have to make the final call.
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