Proposed Sumter School Closures On Hold

Sumter's school year ended on the heels of ongoing concerns about finances and the potential to close two schools in the district

Sumter, SC (WLTX) - The Sumter school district has started a new year and with that comes questions about the future of two schools.

Back in April, Sumter School Board Trustees discussed the potential closing of two schools, F.J. DeLaine Elementary and Mayewood Middle, following a financial crisis that left the district $6.2 Million in the hole.

Board trustees learned that $3.6 Million could be saved by closing their doors of those schools.

While board members did not vote to close the schools, their future leaves parents questioning.

“Are y’all still going to close the schools?” asks Joan Felder. “That’s what we need to know.”

Felder’s daughter is a second grader at F.J. DeLaine.

“We need to get at least a notice ahead of time so we can make arrangements or some people will probably revert to home schooling, just to limit the process of the school closing down,” says Felder. “We as parents are still afraid of if the school is going to shut down or not. We need to know.”

Collectively, Mayewood middle and F.J. DeLaine enrolled 320 students, with 65 teachers and staff last school year.

The school board agreed to create an 11-person committee, tasked with analyzing the pros and cons of shutting down schools in the district.

Board Chair Daryl McGhaney says they will not be closing schools this year and are waiting on the newly formed committee to discuss the future of the two schools.

He says they are not sure if these two schools will close in future years, but they have to find a way to restore the fund balance for the district.

“It's still on the back of my mind whether they close the school,” says Felder. “Are letting anyone know? I don't know.”

The board is expected to meet on Monday, August 28, for a work session. We’re expecting to get more answers on the status of the committee during that time.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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