Hawkins school board considering closing 2 schools

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Hawkins County school board members are considering closing the school system’s two oldest and smallest schools.

The Kingsport Times-News reports (http://bit.ly/2kCCnMU) that Director of Schools Steve Starnes presented the board with information on Thursday about declining enrollment at Keplar Elementary and McPheeters Bend Elementary.

The schools are the only in the district with total enrollment of less than 100. Starnes says the state doesn’t provide funding to pay principals at schools with fewer than 100 students.

Those in favor of closing the schools say over $1.2 million in repairs is needed at both school before 2020; and that closing the schools could save the district $5 million in five years.

Opponents site academic achievement and busing concerns.

The topic will likely be debated at upcoming board meetings.