Vision 2020 decisions anger parents

Updated: Mar. 24, 2011 at 11:57 PM CDT
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Shreveport, LA(KSLA)- There are a lot of angry Caddo Parish parents and students tonight after the school board voted to shutdown several schools over a three year period in order to save more than $24 million dollars and the fight isn't over yet.

In a 9 to 2 vote the Caddo Parish School Board approved the closing and combining of several schools over a three year period and some parents didn't take it well.

The Vision 2020 plan is broken down in to three phases. Phase one begins this August. Newton Smith will close and combine with Green Oaks to form a 7 through 12th grade campus. The same will go for J.S. Clark as it will merge with Booker T Washington.

Northern Bethune and MJ Moore students will merge with Fair Park. The Southern districts of Bethune and M. J. Moore will combine with Woodlawn. Hillsdale will also close and merge with Huntington High School. Hosston Alternative School will close as well.

Parents say an 11 or 12-year-old 7th grader should not be in the same school as an 18-year-old 12th grader.

"They need to be in separate buildings. separate buses, separate cafeterias, separate hallways," says Carrie Gaskin, a parent.

But the man behind vision 2020 says this type of change is proven to work.

"Across the country, even in this state there are many successful 7-12 configurations. This is nothing new," says Caddo Parish Superintendent Gerald Dawkins.

Parents say this plan will cut more than just the budget. Some believe closing schools equals less community involvement.

"There is a lot of feelings here. It's more than just parents and students. This will affect the community as a whole," says Laura Pruitt, another parent.

Blanchard Elementary was originally proposed to close in phase one. A revision to the vision 2020 plan put that off until the 2013-2014 school year.

Stay with KSLA News 12 and as it follows up the outcomes of these decision.