Bluffs Community Schools Board Votes to Close Crescent Elementary School

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) – The numbers just didn’t add up for the Council Bluffs Community School District. Little Crescent Elementary School will indeed close at the end of the school year.

“It’s very difficult to do, nobody wants to do it,” he said CBCSD Board President Chris LaFerrla said moments before the board made a decision to close the district’s smallest school. “All of us at one point in time, behind the scenes, have been Crescent advocates in one way or another.”

The unanimous decision to close Crescent Elementary School was made after more than an hour of impassioned public remarks from attendees. More than 70 Crescent supporters were present.

“You’re the one who decides, not the numbers, not how you put those numbers together,” Sean Shea said. “And I seek you to represent us.”

“Keeping Crescent open gives kids and families in Crescent and Council Bluffs a choice,” another parent told the board. “Don’t take away their choice.”

Another parent shared a story about her childhood memories Crescent Elementary School.

“I’m telling you this because I want the Crescent kids to have good memories like I did,” Michelle Hargins said. “They deserve it, we all deserve to have these memories, not what teachers are told that you don’t matter, your school doesn’t matter. Please, please don’t close our school.”

Council Bluffs isn’t the only Iowa school district to decide to close schools. In December, Davenport Schools announced it would close three elementary schools next year.

Mike Beranek, president of the state’s largest school union, the Iowa State Education Association, told WOWT in an email: “Unfortunately, the last decade of inadequate state funding for our public schools, along with the recently enacted private school voucher program, will cost. nearly $1 billion to implement and will only compound the issue in rural communities across the country. “

“Even if enrollment stays the same, we’re not funded by the state where we need to be statewide,” school board member Jill Shudak said during the meeting. “It’s not specific to Crescent. It’s Council Bluff schools, it’s Lewis Central, it’s Underwood. We are not getting the funding that the public education system needs.”

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