Vigo County school consolidation: Factors in decision and enrollment breakdown

The school corporation plans to reduce the number of elementary schools from 18 to 15.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 4:42 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2019 6:45 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Questions are surfacing about the Vigo County School Corporation's plan to cut $5.5 million from its budget and add approximately $1.5 million in new revenue, for a total change of $7 million.

News 10 is taking a deeper look into the proposed changes to help better explain them.

The school corporation plans to reduce the number of elementary schools from 18 to 15. As proposed, this would happen in two phases. The first would be a change to 16 elementary schools, and the second would be another drop to 15 elementary schools.

A special task force will help make recommendations on which schools should no longer be used for daily student instruction. Teachers, staff, administrators, and Vigo County residents will make up the group.

Superintendent Rob Haworth said there will be several factors taking into consideration when making the decision.

LINK | VIGO COUNTY SCHOOL CORPORATION RELEASES PROPOSED CUTS AND NEW REVENUES IN NEW BUDGET PRESENTATION

One area of study is how many schools are disrupted by one school's closure. The task force will also look at building conditions, building use, and student enrollment.

"I think any school building that has an enrollment of less than 300 are at the top of the list to be reorganized," Haworth told us Monday evening. 

As mentioned, the school corporation is stressing enrollment isn't the only factor. A school with less than 300 students isn't automatically a school up for consolidation. The Vigo County School Corporation has schools spread out across a large area, so a school with less students in a more rural option may not be the best option for consolidation.

News 10 has taken a look at the enrollment trends at Vigo County elementary schools. The school corporation provided the numbers from this year, and previous years came from the Department of Education's database.

The schools near or below 300 students include Ben Franklin, Davis Park, Deming, Fayette, Meadows, Sugar Creek, and West Vigo.

We compared numbers from this school year to the past five school years.

You can see that full document here, or in the embedded file below.

All registered Vigo County voters can weigh in on a referendum that would generate additional money through taxes. School officials say the plan proposed Monday would change to include more cuts if the referendum fails.

LINK | REFERENDUM IMPACT CALCULATOR

The school board still has to approve the plan. There are no decisions at this time on any consolidations.

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