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Concerned West Ironton Parents pass flyers at the polls

Voters at some Ironton city polling places got something Tuesday they may not have been expecting:

informational flyers.

A group of West Ironton Elementary school parents passed out the leaflets explaining their opposition to a proposal to close their grade school.

Laura Taylor is a West Ironton parent and was involved in preparing and distributing the flyer. She said the flyers were meant to let people know the negative impact the closing would have on education, and why people need to let their voices be heard.

&uot;I’ve had some people say to me that I shouldn’t worry about this. But they don’t understand how much we would be giving up if they close our school,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;People don’t realize how important this is.&uot;

The proposal calls for West Ironton to be closed, with the city’s kindergarten and first grade students housed at Whitwell Elementary.

There would be six classes for each grade level.

Second and third graders would be sent to Kingsbury Elementary. There would be six classes each for second and third grade, one room for the learning disabled (LD) class and one for the disabled handicapped (DH) students.

This reconfiguration would eliminate one DH and one LD class now offered.

West Ironton parents also fear there would not be room for the school’s computer lab at Whitwell.

Taylor said some concerned parents have told her if the elementary schools are reconfigured, they will take their children out of the city system and enroll them at other districts, because they fear the quality of education will be so severely affected.

Taylor said she understands that the board may face a fiscal deficit next year, but a recent audit shows the system will finish this year in the black.

This should give the board enough time to pursue other avenues of saving money that would not have so dramatic an impact on education.

&uot;There have to be other options to closing this school,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;They say it’s going to save money, but do they understand how it’s going to affect education? They’re looking at the dollar side of this. They’re not looking at the educational side.&uot;

She said she fears some board members have made up their minds already, regardless of what the parents say. She still intends to let her voice be heard, and other parents plan to do the same.

&uot;You’ve got to get out and let your voice be heard,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;If you don’t let your voice be heard, then who is to blame for what happens?&uot;

The school board meets at 6 p.m.tonight at board offices. By Teresa Moore