AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Tuesday night is the last public hearing for the rezoning of two schools in Richmond County.
The Board of Education is considering closing Willis Foreman and Terrace Manor elementary schools and redistributing those students to other schools. The BOE is considering this because of low enrollment.
School officials say enrollment at both schools is at 50 percent or less and that merging those schools with other ones will allow them to better use their resources. The district says those numbers are only continuing to drop.
Students at Terrace Manor would be sent to Wheeless Road Elementary and students at Willis Foreman would be split up across several nearby schools.
Many parents and students have spoken about their concerns at the previous meetings.
Marjorie Howe has a grandchild at Willis Foreman Elementary. She said her grandson is very upset that he may not get to graduate from the elementary school he’s been at since kindergarten.
“My grandson and his classroom, they broke my heart when they said that Willis Foreman was much more than a school. It was a family. And I like that. It is a family.”
Some concerns parents have include overcrowding, transportation and what will happen to the faculty and staff at these two schools.
Howe explained she is worried that the concerns expressed at these meetings won’t matter in the long run, despite the large turn out at the last one.
“They heard us, but they had already made up their minds as to what they’re gonna do. They heard us but they were so focused on getting their own agenda achieved, I think it surprised them the amount of parents who showed up at the meeting. I don’t think they were prepared for that,” said Howe.
The final hearing will be held Tuesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Richmond County Board of Education on Broad Street.
The final vote will take place at the school board meeting on March 21st.