EUGENE, Ore. — About 250 people showed up to the public forum Wednesday night in the Joseph Lane Middle School multipurpose room in hopes of convincing the Roseburg Public Schools Board to keep their schools open.
The district superintendent and school board members say that this has been a long and tough process for them and while they heard and felt for all the folks fighting for their school last night, they will still have to continue with that process unless their able to find another way to solve their financial problems.
One of those options was to get a local option levy on the upcoming ballot, but the district says it is up to the citizens to pull that together.
Both the superintendent and board members say the decision to close a school was a long time coming, and their problems aren’t just with finances. Outdated curriculum and technology, as well as a loss of nearly 600 students in the last 10 years, are also contributing factors.
“That’s a lot of students to lose, so we feel like we have to look at consolidating. And so that means some of our elementary schools have 35 or 40 classrooms that are not being used as regular classrooms,” said Larry Parsons, Roseburg School District Superintendent.
The Citizens Committee has until March 11 to come up with a proposal for the board to consider. Even if the committee is able to get a local option levy on the ballot in time, the district will still have to continue its plans for a school closure in case it doesn’t pass.