Watch CBS News

Broward School Board seeking community input on school repurposing, closure plans

Broward holds town hall at Fort Lauderdale High School
Broward holds town hall at Fort Lauderdale High School 02:24

FORT LAUDERDALE - On Monday evening the Broward School Board held a town hall, where more than 100 parents gathered to hear about which county schools would close or repurpose as part of its ongoing effort to deal with the under-enrollment issue.

District staff are proposing to move Virginia Schuman Young Elementary's Montessori program into Bennett Elementary.

The superintendent says Broward County has too many children choosing private or charter schools over their public district.

Staff says Broward schools is one or two emergencies away from being in the red and financially unstable.
Vsy parents say their program is too successful to change.

"What I see here is a bunch of smoke and mirrors and smoke being blown up my touches and I don't understand any of this," said Dr. Dennis Liotta, a Broward resident.

"We have spoken with neighbors and with other parents and when we hear their stories: many of them they're going to unenroll. They're going to change for a private school," said Omar Soberanis a VSY parent.

The school board presented community members with several options including one that would close three schools and another that would close 42 schools.

The three schools under the first plan would be Oakridge Elementary in Hollywood, Broward Estates Elementary in Lauderhill, and Olsen Middle School in Dania Beach. Olsen and Broward Estates are currently at about 50 percent capacity.

Twenty-seven other schools would go through changes that could include boundary changes, public-private partnerships, repurposing, and program and grade reconfigurations.

The second plan would involve downsizing the district to only students currently enrolled. Broward County is under-enrolled by 54 thousand students. This plan would mean closing about 42 schools. Those schools have not been identified.

Parent Luke Bellot has sent three of his children to Oakridge Elementary. His youngest is in kindergarten. He said he's concerned about a closure.

"When I started school, it went from K to 10th. It bothers me if he changes, it means he will have to make new friends," he said.

On Tuesday, board member Torey Alston will be at Charles Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines

On Wednesday, Brenda Fam will be at Western High School in Davie and on Thursday board member Nora Rupert will be at Deerfield Beach High School.

After the town halls conclude, the discussion and information will be presented to the school board. A final decision on what the district will do could come in June.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.