NEWS BRIEF: School Board Vows to Keep Buildings Open

BOE changes directions in budget planning

Olivia Nagel and Allison Mayhew

During tonight’s USD 497 Board of Education meeting, members announced that closing schools for the upcoming school year will not be a consideration. 

“The proposals in front of us are not the right ones for the community,” member Kelly Jones said. 

The board discussed the three budget plans proposed earlier this month to make up for the $3.2 million to $3.85 million budget deficit in the Monday, Feb. 14 meeting. All members agreed not to pursue plans that would close schools proposed by the Budget and Program Evaluation Committee. 

“Closing disparities have plagued this community generation after generation,” member Carole Cadue-Blackwood said. 

Pinkney, Broken Arrow, New York, and other schools with small populations are now safe from being closed. Other significant budget cuts will be made to hit the board’s $7 million target in budget planning.