Richmond County superintendent suggests 2 schools shut down


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– “Rightsizing”: That is what Richmond County School District is calling the initiative, but some parents are not on board.

“It’s going to take a toll on her because she is familiar with all of the teachers here,” Loretta Simmons told NewsChannel 6. Her daughter is a second grader at Craig Houghton Elementary. She has a severe heart problem. Simmons said Craig-Houghton is not her assigned school, but she has driven her across town for two years.

“I just found out recently that they are under student capacity. I am shocked,” Simmons expressed.

Richmond County Superintendent Dr. Angela Pringle said it comes down to money and schools not operating at full capacity.

The plan: Craig-Houghton students transfer to Hornsby Elementary, and Jenkins-White students go to Wilkinson Gardens.

“Our choice is to use the money wisely and place children where they need to be for support,” Dr. Pringle explained. “Or to fund empty classrooms: heating, air and all that go with them.”

Craig Houghton can house 650 students, but right now, only 409 students are enrolled.

But capacity isn’t the only low number. Dr. Pringle explained 58 third through 5th grade students at the school are at least one year behind track in both reading and math. Students falling behind in those areas will be taught at the Literacy and Math Center. Dr. Pringle proposes the center moves to Jenkins White Elementary.

And for Craig Houghton– she suggests it becomes a cyber and technology training center.

“Keep Craig open,” Simmons told us. “I’m just one voice, saddened by the closing of Craig-Houghton.”

The Board of Education meets on March to make a final decision.

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