The future of a few Bibb County elementary schools is up in the air.
District leaders say student enrollment has dropped in Bibb County schools by 2.12 percent over the last five years. That's causing the school board to think about make some tough decisions.
School board member Lester Miller says the county might have too many elementary schools to operate efficiently.
“Nobody’s opposed to closing elementary schools, just not their elementary school,” Miller said. “If it’s going to be closed on some other side of town, they're all for it if it saves taxpayers money, but not in my neighborhood.”
At a board work session Thursday night, the Bibb school board looked at the data. That includes cost and capacity of all the schools in the district.
“At some of those schools we mentioned, it costs about $8,200 a child to educate, whereas just a half mile up the road, it cost $6,200 a child to educate, that’s a $2,000 difference,” Miller said.
Right now, the board says Brookdale Elementary, L. H. Williams Elementary, and Riley Elementary are all underused, therefore they cost the district more to operate. Those three schools are the ones the board is currently looking at for consolidation or closure.
Current considerations include Riley Elementary merging into boarding schools, and consolidation of L.H. Williams Elementary into Brookdale Elementary.
“I think out of those three or four schools the board will likely make a decision to close one or two schools,” Miller said.
Board Vice President Thelma Dillard says there's a lot to consider before they can even think about voting to close a school.
“Relocating schools, relocating students, that becomes very emotional and people have strong feelings about this,” Dillard said. “This is why we want to make the best decision for the students, taxpayers' best, and our entire community.”
Parents will have a chance to voice their concerns at a listening session Tuesday November 28th. The meeting will take place at Southwest High School at 6 p.m.