Savings plan includes closing Birmingham schools, layoffs - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Savings plan includes closing Birmingham schools, layoffs

Community members packed tonight's meeting. Source: Vanessa Araiza Community members packed tonight's meeting. Source: Vanessa Araiza

The Birmingham Board of Education has released the list of schools that could be closed and consolidated as a part of a cost savings plan.

These proposed cuts would include 133 layoffs and the closing of 7 schools.

The breakdown is as follows:

• Carver and Woodlawn high schools would add seventh and eighth grades in a school-within-a-school model. Students in the seventh and eighth grades would be in separate areas of the schools with separate staffs and administrations.

• Center Street Middle School would close, with students moving to Arrington Middle School and Carver.

• Councill Elementary School would consolidate with Bush Middle School to create a K-8 school.

• Daniel Payne Middle School would close, with sixth-graders moving to South Hampton Elementary School and seventh- and eighth-graders going to Carver.

• Hemphill Elementary School would close, with students moving to Jackson Elementary School and West End Academy.

• Norwood Elementary School would close, and students would attend Phillips Academy.

• Putnam Middle School would close, and students would move to Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School and Woodlawn.

• North Roebuck Elementary School would close and relocate to the Martha Gaskins Middle School building. Martha Gaskins students would go to Smith and Ossie Ware Mitchell middle schools.

• Avondale Elementary School, Barrett Elementary School, Hayes K-8 School, Hudson K-8 School, Inglenook K-8 School, Oliver Elementary School and South Hampton Elementary School would become K-6 schools.

• The new Oxmoor K-8 School would open this summer as a K-5 school.

• Kennedy Alternative School would be closed and the program would be moved to the Daniel Payne Middle School building.

The layoffs break down as follows:

• 108 in schools, mostly in the 7 closed schools. They include: 15 Child Nutrition Program workers, 10 teacher assistants, 17 clerical workers, two bookkeepers, 13 custodians, 15 teachers, seven principals, 15 assistant principals, seven counselors and seven library media personnel.

• 25 in the central office. They include: four program specialists, three clerical workers, one bookkeeper, five custodians, three data entry technicians, one director/assistant director and eight maintenance employees.

Dr. Ed Richardson, the state-appointed CFO for the board during the state takeover, says that these cuts will be finalized by March 12. He says that even with the closing of seven schools, the system will be able to accomodate its current student body.

There had been talk previously that the school system built several new schools to make room for a growing population, but the state says that just hasn't happened.

Some parents and teachers expressed concerns over mixing middle and high school students. To help address concerns, Richardson said there will be two community meetings next week. The first will be Monday, March 4 from 6-8 p.m. at Carver High School and the second will be held Tuesday, March 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Huffman High School.

From there, Richardson said officials will take comments into consideration as they finalize the closings and consolidations.

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