Discussion gets heated as parents fight to keep Edgewood Element - WRBL

Discussion gets heated as parents fight to keep Edgewood Elementary open

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Recently Muscogee County's Interim School Superintendent, Dr. John Phillips, presented a proposed budget adjustment plan, designed to make up some of the $40 million deficit in next year's budget.

The district held a public forum for parents to voice their concerns on Tuesday. Emotions ran high as one by one parents made their case, supporting their neighborhood school.

"Why isn't the entire Columbus being effected by this 40 million dollar deficit that we all created?" said one parent.

The number one things parents wanted to know was why the district chose to close Edgewood? There to offer some answers were several school board members and district administrators. Each tried to keep order while addressing the parents' concerns.  The district said Edgewood's location and size make it a prime candidate for closing; but parents disagreed. They said edgewood is performing higher than it's similar counterparts, so it should stay open.

Also in the audience was city councilman, Jerry 'Pops' Barnes. Edgewood falls within his district.

"This is a real life situation. This is a neighborhood school, and neighborhood schools are always supported by the community," said Barnes.

He added that as a councilman he knows first hand the struggles elected officials face, but he said in this case, he thinks the board could have done more.

"This is a really good neighborhood school, it's a mistake to move a really good neighborhood school and that's just my opinion. And I just wish they would slow things down a bit and listen to what the community is saying to them," said Barnes.

After the meeting, several parents told News 3 they felt as if none of their questions were answered. District officials said they are welcomed to attend the second public forum on Wednesday May 15th, which will also be in the cafeteria of Edgewood. It begins at 6pm.

A forum was also held at Marshall Middle school Tuesday. Our media partner The Ledger Enquirer reported that almost 100 parents attended. They said that students shared testimonies of Marshall's positive impact.

The school board is expected to vote on Monday on whether or not to close the two schools.

Liz Buckthorpe

Liz joins the WRBL news team from all the way from New England. More>>

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