No School Closures: Hundreds Of Amherst Co. Educators Celebrate Study Results

Amherst, VA - Eruptions of applause rings loud inside Amherst County High School as the results of a much-anticipated efficiency study for the school district keeps two elementary schools open and calls for more jobs.

Prismatic Services, the company contracted for the study, applauded the quality of the two small schools, Pleasant View and Temperance Elementary Schools,saying rezoning is the solution to fix the attendance problem.

Charity Brown, a teacher at Elon Elementary says closure has been talked about for years.

More than 400 educators and residents packed the high school's auditorium as a summary of the report was unveiled. Brown was one of them. She a first-year teacher at Elon Elementary and both of her kids went to Pleasant View.

"I'm happy," said Brown. "They do need to re-zone. We have several schools in the county that are crowded, elementary schools and then these two schools."

It's not the only change recommended. More jobs may soon come to the area, more than a dozen additional positions, including teachers, assistants and custodians if the recommendations are acted upon.

Samuel Mays, an Amherst County residents says he hopes that "somehow the county can come up with the funds to fund well to pay for these new positions."

The total added costs for the school board came out to $15.4 million over the next five years, a major portion coming from a facility maintenance fund, which Prismatic Services estimated at $1.9 million a year. Savings, according to the efficiency study, are at $1.5 million a year for over five years. The difference Prismatic Services says would be $1.7 million a year if the school board chooses to forgo the additional facility maintenance fund.

The study did cost the school board $100,000 and it has about two years to really make a lot of these changes before a penalty would come to pay a portion of the tab.

School Board members and Board of Supervisors each received a copy of the full study with the entirety of the findings expected to be released online on Friday.