Parents opposed to the proposed closing of Peebles Elementary school said they were not surprised Wednesday night when North Allegheny Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri made the official recommendation.
The administration argues that closing Peebles could save the district, which is facing a $8-million deficit , $850,000 a year. However administrators also said enrollment continues to decline and excess capacity exists at the elementary level.
Gualtieri suggested that the board hold a public hearing on the proposed closure in January, and schedule a vote in April.
A group of parents presented the board with a 32-page report outlining their reasons for not closing any of the district's elementary school. (see attached .pdf) The parents argue that:
- Closing an elementary school will force the remaining buildings to operate more classes than they were designed to accommodate.
- There will be little room for expansion should enrollment increase at the elementary level.
- The five-year enrollment projections prepared by the administration have consistently understated actual enrollment for the past 13 years.
- The conclusions reached in the demographic portion of the Phase 2 report contain a mathematical error, which suggests the population of McCandless is declining, when it is projected to remain stable.
- The Phase 2 report does not acknowledge or analyze the impact of the McCandless Crossing complex.
For more information on parent's efforts to form a community task force about the proposed school closings, click www.saveNAschools.com.