Northmont school board votes to close elementary school, more cuts expected

ENGLEWOOD — An area elementary school will close at the end of the school year, and the district said more cuts are likely to come.

Joshua Parry has four kids. Two children go to Englewood Elementary, but they will not be attending for much longer.

“It just means that next year we’re either going to have look at home-schooling or having them get split into a new school that they’re not familiar with those kids,” Parry said.

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Parry came to Northmont City School’s board meeting Monday to tell the board how he feels.

“The fact that there are this many people here should tell you the communities pissed off, pardon my language. We’re irritated, we’ve got kids that are now having to get shuffled to schools that they don’t want to be,” he told them.

But the board voted unanimously to close down Englewood Elementary.

“We thought about it, talked about a lot of different things. To us, it’s better than shutting down programs...it’s an emotional thing,” Tony Thomas, Northmont City Schools superintendent said.

The district said right now their funding expenditures exceed their revenues, state funding for Northmont is projected to stay the same and it’s feeling the impact of inflation.

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“One of the things we talked about is if we do qualify for state funding we need all of our elementary schools to have at least 350 students in them to qualify for that state funding. Currently, Englewood Elementary didn’t so we would have lost out on that funding,” Thomas said.

The school board also voted to suspend nine teacher contracts, but the superintendent said he is working to move those teachers into other open positions.

Voters last passed a levy for the district in 2016. The superintendent doesn’t know if or when they will put another levy on the ballot.

Parry thinks the school board needs a better plan to deal with the district’s funding issues.

“You rely on 6 or 7 people to represent the whole community and that’s a lot of weight on their shoulders it’s also let down from the community because I believe there’s more that we could have done,” he said.

News Center 7 reached out to one of the teachers impacted by the cuts, who declined to comment.

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