Lakeland delays decision for elementary school closures

Lakeland, like many in northeast Indiana, is faced with declining enrollment and state funding.

Posted: Feb. 18, 2019 11:38 PM
Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 1:20 AM

LaGRANGE, Ind. (WFFT) - Lakeland School Corporation delayed making a decision about the closing of two elementary schools.

Lakeland, like many in northeast Indiana, is faced with declining enrollment and state funding.

Next year, superintendent Dr. Eve Merkel expects nearly a $1 million shortfall unless major cuts are made now.

That proposal includes closing Wolcott - Mills and Lima - Brighton Elementaries. Parkside Elementary would be home to Lakeland Primary, Lakeland Middle School would house Lakeland Intermediate and Lakeland High School would become a junior-senior high.

However, nearly 250 people attended the board meeting where the motion was tabled until March 25.

Part of that motion includes forming a community committee with three board members, five staff members (one from each school) and an unlimited number of community members.

The committee will make a recommendation to the school board on what cuts can be made.

Merkel said the goal is to avoid a referendum because a survey done two years ago showed it would not be successful.

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