Danville, VA -- The Danville school board made a big decision Monday morning. The school board voted 6 to 1 to close three elementary schools, as they face a $5,000,000 budget deficit next year. Woodrow Wilson, I.W. Taylor and Glenwood Elementary will close at the end of this school year.
The school board made a decision last week to turn Gibson Middle School into an elementary school, so Glenwood and most of the Taylor students will be moving over there. Woodrow students will be divided up among other local elementary schools.
"It's very emotional because there is such strong advocacy for all of our schools. This has been a difficult decision," said Superintendent Sue Davis.
The school board says it took them months to make this decision among countless options considered. But ultimately, school size and finding a balance between the north and south sides of town led them here.
"It's not good. It's not good at all. Taylor is a wonderful school," said Shadika Foremar, parent of Taylor Elementary student.
Foremar's daughter has been at Taylor for two years. While the school board says they will do their best to prevent large class sizes, Foremar is concerned.
"Just knowing that she is not going to be able to come here...it's crazy," said Foremar.
The school board says it was possible to close only two schools. But this decision prevents more tough decisions next year.
"Our board will have more flexibility in the budget next year," said Davis.
The board emphasized having the children's best interest at heart and they hope that everyone will get behind this decision.
"It's very important that we continue the same level of service to our students and that we continue our programs with students," said Davis.
In addition to school closures, they will eliminate 65 to 70 staff positions. That decision will be made by the end of February.