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Parents Fight To Keep Carroll County High School Open

CARROLL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- Saving the school. Parents in Carroll County are fighting the possible closing of a high school.

Amy Yensi has more on why the school may be shut down.

The school system has a capacity for 31,000 students but has not been able to fill those spaces---and that's hurting the bottom line.

It's spirit week at North Carroll High School and students say school pride is more important than ever. That's because the Carroll County Board of Education is considering whether to permanently close their school.

"Splitting up Hampstead would send kids in all different directions and the community would not be the same," said student Paul Kumpar.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 hovered over the hundreds of residents, students and local officials rallying outside the board's private work session on Monday. The protesting against a special committee's recommendation to close county schools and redistrict students as a way to fix the system's financial troubles.

Assistant Superintendant Jonathan O'Neal says county schools are losing $2 million a year in state funding because of declining enrollment.

"It's about trying to look at a school system as a whole and figure out what is the best way that you can continue to deliver a quality instruction program and have a quality school system," O'Neal said.

New Windsor Middle School and three elementary schools---Charles Carroll, Mount Airy and Sandymount---are also at risk of closing.

The committee recommends redistricting the Hampstead schools in half but some residents say that divides the community.

"It's like the best part of our community. Parents come from everywhere to watch our games and go to plays and some kids did that before they came here, we're so close and friendly," said student Alicia Badra.

While the board will not make any decisions until November at the earliest, students say every day counts in their fight to save their schools.

The plans are not set in stone and this is all very early on in the process. The committee is considering this and other options before making this very tough decision.

The board will discuss redistricting and school closures at their next meeting, which will be held October 14.

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