Camden School Board considers elementary school closure or layoffs

The school district is trying to fill at $1.5-million budget gap

TABERG (WSYR-TV) - Close Annsville Elementary School in Taberg or face significant layoffs - that's the message from the Superintendent of the Camden Central School District.

He outlined a plan to close a $1.5-million budget gap Monday night.

"We could close the building, move the students and staff as an entire unit to another building and virtually no one is out of a job," says Dr. Jeffrey Bryant, the Interim Superintendent of Schools.

Bryant says it all comes down to economics and one of the biggest issues is a drop in student enrollment.

"In 2001 we had almost 3,000 students, K-12, and right now we are just over 2,100. We've lost almost a third of our students since that time," Bryant explains. "That's the driver for our Foundation Aid, which we use to run our districts."

With expected retirements and the closure of the elementary school, Bryant says the district could save around $800,000.

The school board will be asked to vote on the closure at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to respond.

An outline of the plan is expected to be available on the district's website on Tuesday.

If the board approves the recommendation to close, Bryant says Annsville Elementary School would close at the end of this school year.

If the proposal is voted down?

"Then, we have to come up with a plan B," Bryant says.

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